People

Current members

Lars Behrendt, assistant professor

My research explores the structure, function and assembly of microbial communities in relationship to microenvironmental landscapes. I am interested in a diverse array of organisms with an emphasis on aquatic ecosystems. My research approach is highly interdisciplinary and integrative, bridging discrete research fields in order to elucidate problems from neglected perspectives. Within the rigorous application of the scientific method, I employ unconventional problem-solving strategies with the aim of answering questions central to microbiology. 

Linhong Xiao, postdoc (started March 2020)

Saskia Rughöft, Postdoc (started Jan 2021)

As a microbial ecologist, I am interested in how microorganisms drive biogeochemical cycles on both local and global scales and how these microorganisms respond to pollutants or changing environmental conditions. My project aims to quantify the effects of singular and combined stressors on the metabolism of single microbial cells (e.g. marine bacteria and phytoplankton). By combining microfluidic technology and quantitative phase imaging, I will develop a novel high-throughput ‘Ecotoxicology-on-a-chip’ approach.

Short CV

  • 2021, PhD in Environmental Sciences, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen (Germany)
  • 2019, MSc in Biogeosciences, Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany)
  • 2012, BSc in Biology, Free University Berlin (Germany)

Yuan Cui, PhD student (started May 2020)

The focus of Yuan’s PhD project will be on developing a microfluidic platform enabling the metabolism measurement for ecologically relevant single marine phytoplankton cells, and assessing the singular and combined impacts of environmental change on single cells with a focus on heterogeneity within populations.

Short CV

  • Since 2020, PhD student in Environmental Toxicology, Uppsala University
  • 2019, MSc in Environmental Engineering, ETH Zürich (Switzerland)
  • 2017, BSc in Environmental Engineering, Jilin University (China)

Chiara Buonfrate, Master student (started October 2020)

In my master project I will explore stress effects on single cells of the diatom P. tricornutum. My aim is to assess the heterogeneity in stress responses among single cells. To do this I will build advanced microfluidics devices that monitor single cell growth and compare these results to standard bulk growth methods. Next, I aim to examine the effect of chemical stress and to investigate the phenotypic plasticity among single cells using high-throughput automated fluorescence microscopy. My long-term goal is to deepen our understanding on the ecological role of single-cell plasticity in phytoplankton bloom dynamics. 

Olle Pontén, Master student (started January 2021)

I’m Olle, a masters level student currently working on finishing my masters thesis in Behrendt Lab during the year of 2021. My studies have revolved around Biophysics and I’ve studied within the Integrated Masters Programme for Molecular Biotechnology
with a profile within molecular biophysics. I’ve specialized with microfluidics and programming but also enjoy working in the lab. I’m originally from Lund and moved here to uppsala in 2015 where I’ve spent the following years, with the exception of a half-year exchange programme in Sydney in spring 2020.

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