Image credit: Karim Iliya / Kogia

Early career researchers

Meet the PhD students, postdocs and fellows involved in BIOcean5D. 

Hover over their pictures to learn more about their work. 

WP1: Filling the marine biodiversity knowledge gap

Mukeshkumar Bhendarkar
PhD student
AZTI, Spain
Netaji Subhas-ICAR International Fellowship

Fisheries ecology

PI: Naiara Rodríguez-Ezpeleta
Netaji Subhas-ICAR International Fellowship (NS-ICARIF)

Primarily focusing on Community Temperature Index (CTI) within fish communities along temporal gradients in the Bay of Biscay
Cristina Claver
PhD student
AZTI, Spain

Ecology and genetics

PI: Naiara Rodríguez-Ezpeleta

I provide distribution and abundance maps of protected and highly commercial species using environmental DNA
Marine Ethève
PhD student
University of Perpignan, France

Fisheries ecology

PI: Lucia Di Iorio
I study the spatio-temporal dynamics of marine forest soundscapes (kelp forests, zostera and posidonia seagrasses) in the context of global change. My research involves determining the sound library of this marine ecosystem and investigating the influence of abiotic parameters on its biophony.
Valentin Foulon
Research Engineer

Biologist | microscopist

PI: Raffaele Siano | Daniela Zeppilli

I study meiofauna communities with identification by imaging protocols.
Thomas Haize
Expedition Field Technician
EMBL, Germany

Anthropogenic impact in marine environment

PI: Paola Bertucci
As part as the TREC expedition and leading the sediment sampling. I’m involved in the organisation, sampling, development of protocols and analysis of samples.
Pierre Kostyrka
Sorbonne Université, France

Oceanography and marine ecology

PI: Fabien Lombard

My job is to deploy the PlanktoScope, a quantitative imaging tool, at the european scale. I also participate to the intercalibration, the data analysis, and the setup of projects involving the PlanktoScope.
Erwan Legeay
Research Engineer
Sorbonne Université - Station Biologique de Roscoff, France

Marine microbial ecologist

PI: Colomban de Vargas
I’m in charge of developing and deploying the Lamprey, a DNA sampling tool, at the European scale WP 1.5.1. I also participate in the water sampling in Roscoff and analysis for WP 1.4.3.
James O'Brien
Postdoctoral Researcher
ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Microbial Ecologist | Marine Biologist

PI: Shinichi Sunagawa
I aim to improve our understanding of aerosol microbiomes. Through the TREC expedition, we are collecting samples that will characterise the diversity, function and dispersal of airborne microbes across Europe.
Christina Pavloudi
Data Scientist / Post Doctoral Researcher

Microbial Ecologist | Marine Biologist

PI: Nicolas Pade
Compiling DNA (and non-DNA) time series datasets from long term observatories, Analyzing metabarcoding sequence data, Filling metadata gaps, Identifying patterns of biodiversity change through time and in relation to environmental information
Joanna Warwick-Dugdale
Postdoctoral Research Assistant
Marine Biological Association, UK

Marine microbial ecologist

PI: Michael Cunliffe

I am investigating temporal and spatial patterns in marine biodiversity via metabarcoding time-series intercomparisons.

WP2: Understanding biodiversity in critical marine habitats and their keystone species

Hanin Alzubaidy
Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Vienna, Austria

Microbiologist | Marine biologist

PI: Jillian Petersen

Studying the microbial diversity in the seagrass ecosystem with and without the presence of Lucinid clams.
Eric Armstrong
Postdoctoral fellow
Université de Perpignan, France


PI: Serge Planes
I study how turbidity and heat stress influence the composition and evolution of the coral microbiome in order to better understand how coral holobionts cope with anthropogenic stressors.
Alvin Han
Postdoctoral fellow
EMBL Heidelberg, Germany

Microbiology, Microbiome

PI: Detlev Arendt
I will be surveying the microbial diversity associated with Platynereis dumerilii across field sites for TREC, accompanied by an exploration of cultured worms from lab colonies.
Caroline Juery
CNRS, France


PI: Johan Decelle

I characterise Phaeocystis holobiont studying the genetic and functional diversity of Phaeocystis species, their microbiome in free living (colonies) and in symbiosis with Acantharia. I am collecting single holobiont DNA barcoding samples and transcriptomics through TREC.
Chloé Mason
PhD student

Marine ecologist

PI: Raffaele Siano

I’m studying how river inputs influence the interactome of the coastal microbiome. I’m using eDNA, metabarcoding and network inference methods.
Pauline Narvaez
Postdoctoral researcher
CNRS, France

Marine ecologist

PI: José Montoya
I investigate the effects of temperature on the microbiota associated with marine sponges from the Western Mediterranean. Microbiome samples are collected at different locations from the southern France to northern Spain and analysed with metabarcoding, metatranscriptomic and metagenomic techniques.

WP3: Building a digital foundation for the holistic assessment of marine biodiversity

Stefanie Mayer
PhD student
ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Quantitative marine ecologist

PI: Meike Vogt | Loic Pellissier | Nicolas Gruber | Shinichi Sunagawa
Investigating global marine biodiversity patterns across indices, methods, functional groups, space and time; with a focus on coastal to open ocean gradients and an aim to bridge gaps in existing global models for plankton and fish.
Taylor Priest
Postdoctoral Researcher
ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Microbial ecologist

PI: Shinichi Sunagawa
Assessing microbial diversity and overall biodiversity through metabarcoding and metagenomics data
Damiano Righetti
Postdoctoral researcher
Danish Technical University, Denmark
WP3 | WP5

Alpine botanist | marine macro-ecologist

PI: Brian MacKenzie
I help creating the scientific basis for species distribution models that enable global biodiversity to be reliably mapped spatially and temporally. The 30% area target by 2030 brings urgency to this task. We use plankton and fish as testbeds how models ‘work’ or ‘fail’.
Lucas Ustick
Postdoctoral Fellow
EMBL Heidelberg, Germany

Bioinformatician | Microbial Ecologist

PI: Peer Bork

Planetary scale analysis of metagenomes with a focus on linking omics to microbial nutrient cycling.
Giorgio Vittorio Visco
PhD student
University of Padua, Italy
WP3 & WP4

Quantitative marine ecologist

PI: Daniele Iudicone | Meike Vogt

Development and study of stochastic models for population distributions in marine ecosystems

WP4: Developing new theories for marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and their relationships

Julie Lemoine
PhD student
Sorbonne Université - IMEV - LOV, France

Oceanography and marine ecology

PI: Fabien Lombard

I study traits of zooplankton and in particular the biomass/biovolume ratio (gelatinous/non-gelatinous) in order to better represent zooplankton diversity in BGC models.
Geoffrey Neumann
Postdoc Research Fellow
University of Southampton, UK

Plankton Biomodeller

PI: Ben Ward

Developing Lineage Based Model to explore how neutral processes (population drift, mutation) and dispersal may drive plankton biogeography on a global and local scale. More generally exploring the differing roles of these processes and environmental selection in driving the patterns we see.

WP5: Monitoring the impact of human activity on marine biodiversity and modelling future ocean health

Adrià Antich
Postdoctoral Researcher
NORCE Research, Norway


PI: Tristan Cordier
To develop the use of Machine learning approaches to predict the quality status of marine communities near the fish farms in Norway and to identify potential new indicators.
Xavier Corrales
Postdoctoral researcher
AZTI, Spain
WP5 | WP6


PI: Eider Andonegi
Development of an ecosystem model for the tropical Atlantic Ecoregion to assess impacts of fishing and climate change and economic assessment of ecosystem services
Thøger Engelund Knudsen
PhD student
DTU Aqua, Denmark

Mathematical ecologist

PI: Brian MacKenzie
I develop various models on long migration in pelagic species, which translates behavioural processes, based on environmental input, into spatiotemporal distribution of the species.
Leire Lopetegui Eguren
PhD student
AZTI, Spain

Fisheries ecology

PI: Eider Andonegi | Maria José Juan Jordá
I am developing SDMs exploring different methods and datasets for vulnerable species interacting with tropical tuna purse seine fisheries for assessing fishing impacts and informing the design of spatially-based conservation and management measures.
Shubham Krishna
National Oceanography Centre, UK

Ecosystem modelling | Marine Biogeochemistry

PI: Stephanie Henson
I model microbial diversity at different oceanic sites and study how they will be impacted by anthropogenic stressors, such as warming and eutrophication.
Josu Meléndez Arteaga
PhD student
AZTI, Spain

Marine ecologist

PI: Eider Andonegi | Xavier Corrales | Maria José Juan Jordá
I am developing a trophic analysis and ecosystem models of the tropical Atlantic Ocean in order to assess past, current and future responses of large predatory fishes (tropical tunas, billfishes and sharks) to commercial fishing and climate change.
Ngoc-Loi Nguyen
PhD student
Institute of Oceanology PAN, Poland


PI: Jan Pawlowski | Tristan Cordier
I perform metabarcoding analysis and develop DNA-based indicators of ecological status in Norwegian coastal areas impacted by industrial and urban activities.
Massimiliano Palma
Research Scientist
ENEA, Italy


Linking plankton diversity and ecosystem services
Ahmed Souissi
Postdoctoral researcher

Population genetics | Genomics

PI: Bruno Ernande
Investigating the role of functional and life history traits in shaping genetic diversity among marine fish species, focusing on the analysis and interpretation of data to understand ecological determinants of genetic variation.
Clément Violet
Postdoctoral researcher

Marine Ecology | Quantitative Ecology

PI: Raffaele Siano
I aim to enhance the prediction of non-indigenous species (NIIS) invasion success in European seas by exploring the role of species traits and environmental factors. I will use trait-based modelling and species distribution models to develop a predictive framework that considers abiotic and biotic factors and the impact of climate change on invasion success.

WP6: Assessing the value of biodiversity and marine natural capital to improve protective strategies

Julián Esteban-Cantillo
PhD student
Institut Jean Nicod, France

Biodiversity conservation

PI: Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde | Roberto Casati

I study dynamic alternatives to current spatial conservation schemes in marine ecosystems from the perspective of climate change, biodiversity and essential particle spreading.
Umer Gurchani
Postdoctoral Researcher
Institut Jean Nicod, France

Ecological Economics

PI: Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde
I am trying to update Weitzman’s index on biodiversity to include functional diversity.

Dive deeper

Learn more about BIOcean5D.