My PhD research project focuses on investigating what factors and drivers may alter the diversity (i.e., community structure) and nitrogen transformation (function) relationships in aquatic habitats. The project addresses the question of how benthic microbial communities functionally respond to induced change from ecological drivers and environmental conditions by using changes in habitat physical configuration as a framework to understand how they may affect the microbial diversity, assembly, and their functional roles as drivers for the denitrification process at different habitat scales. Research questions were investigated in a study system comprised of small-scale experimental mesocosms and sediment cores collected from different benthic habitats: coastal brackish in the Baltic Sea, wetland-lake at Flemingsbergsviken, and sediments from Oskarshamn harbor. Three different methods are implemented: mRNA-based detection for transcript abundances of nirS and nosZ genes encoding denitrification; estimating denitrification rate using nitrogen Isotope Pairing Technique (IPT); and 16S rRNA gene-based sequencing for inferring microbial composition and structure in the study systems.
With an MSc degree in Ecology and Conservation Biology from Uppsala University and a BSc degree in Biology (Zoology) as my background, I have previously been involved in several studies, including diverse field projects in different countries. These studies have cut across different aspects of animal and plant ecology, population genetics, evolutionary biology, molecular biology, and conserving endangered species. Studies were conducted in several ecosystems, including the Savannah, the African Sahara, and the Arabian Desert, targeting different species such as birds, small mammals, plants, and reptiles.
I have also previously taught different courses and practical classes at the undergraduate level. Currently, I’m also involved in teaching some practical classes at the undergraduate level at Södertörn University.
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