Aarhus Universitets segl


Find below a current list of CEM members presently working at CEM, Aarhus University.

The Academic Staff members counts tenured and tenure-track professors, senior scientists, and postdocs as well as long-term guests and collaborators. The PhD students counts members fully covered by CEM grant as well as fellows with e.g., Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship. We are very grateful to welcome and supervise each semester talented bachelor’s and master’s students. The CEM research work is supported by our technical and administrative staff.

Academic Staff

Lars Peter Nielsen

Position: Professor, Head of Center

I have a PhD in Microbial Ecology from Aarhus University in 1989 and I have essentially worked there ever since.

My scientific interest is microbial life at the border between the oxic and the anoxic world and today it is all about cable bacteria. Before stumbling across electromicrobiology I mainly worked on filamentous sulfur bacteria, microbial nitrogen cycling, and emission of odour and greenhouse gases from agricultural environments.

I share my interests with my grandkids and enjoy family life and a few tours with the fishing rod.

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Andreas Schramm

Position: Professor, Vice Head of Center

After my Masters in Biology at the Technical University Munich, a PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, postdoc years in Bayreuth (Germany) and Seattle (WA, USA), and an assistant professorship in Bayreuth, I have been at Aarhus University since 2004.

With a background in microbial nitrogen cycling, microsensor technology, and molecular microbial ecology, I have a broad interest in aquatic microbial ecology, geomicrobiology, and (symbiotic) interactions of microbes. After the discovery of electric currents in the seafloor, I became intrigued by their “who?” and “how?” and was part of the team eventually discovering cable bacteria, which I have studied ever since.

Outside of science, I enjoy playing (and listening to) music, spending time with my family, hiking (preferably in the Alpes), as well as playing volleyball.

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Lars Riis Damgaard

Position: Researcher/academic co-worker

I have a Ph.D. degree from Aarhus University on the development and application of microsensors in microbial ecology. Before that I was Chief Scientific Officer at the microsensor company Unisense A/S.

My main focus at CEM is on technical experimental development and research, mainly within sensor techniques. Currently I am applying myself as project leader in the innovation project BIOMAP (bio.au.dk/BIOMAP) on soil pollution and cable bacteria.  

I spend my free time with my family, relaxing and walking the dog.

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Thomas Boesen

Position: Senior Scientist and Cryo-EM Facility Manager

I finished my PhD in medical microbiology at Aarhus University in 2002 and subsequently took position as Assistant Professor and later Associate Professor at Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University. In 2016 I took position as Cryo-EM Facility Manager at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center, Aarhus University, and I have been deeply involved in establishing a National cryo-EM Facility (EMBION) with key stakeholders from the University. This facility now harbors two high-end Titan Krios microscopes and several accessory microscopes and other EM equipment (embion.au.dk).

I have a background in molecular and structural biology and primarily use X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM for atomic structure determination of proteins. I also employ several EM methods for ultrastructural analysis of bacteria, and I have started cryo-electron tomography studies on bacteria that will employ local cryoFIB/SEM and cryoCLEM equipment for lamella production and target localization, respectively.

My focus in CEM is the biochemical, functional, and structural analysis of conductor fibres from cable bacteria involved in electron transfer and cytochromes involved in up- and downloading electrons to/from the conductor.

In my spare time I enjoy family life and hiking.

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Ian Marshall

Position: Assistant Professor

I received my PhD from Stanford University in 2012, and I have been working at Aarhus University since then.

I specialise in the sequencing and bioinformatic analysis of genomes and genes from microbes and microbial communities, and I am especially interested in the ecophysiological diversity of cable bacteria and microbes associated with cable bacteria.

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Bo Barker Jørgensen

Position: Professor

After my PhD at Aarhus University, I was first assoc. professor and then full professor at this university for fifteen years. In 1992, I became the founding director of the German Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen. I returned to Aarhus University in 2007 to establish a DNRF Center for Geomicrobiology and am now a professor in the Section for Microbiology.

My research field is the biogeochemistry of marine sediments with focus on the processes and microbiology of the major element cycles. My interests include the role of the seabed in the global carbon cycle and how the energy flux in marine ecosystems controls the community size of microorganisms. I currently study cryptic methane cycling in sediments and the potential for archaea to reverse their energy metabolism between methane production and methane oxidation through electron transfer via conducting minerals.

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Mingdong Dong

Position: Professor

Mingdong Dong is Professor in the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center. He is applied physicist specializing in advanced surface sensitive scanning probe microscopy (SPM). He has developed several important quantitative SPM-based surface sensitive techniques to investigate electronic, mechanical, thermal, chemical, and magnetic properties in biological systems and nanomaterials, which have been critically important for a better understanding of structure-function relationship. His academic experience ranges from materials science, physical chemistry to biophysics, covers problems in life science and nanoscience, encompasses expertise in SPM. Dr. Dong has been a member of Royal Microscopical Society, ACS, MRS, Biophysical Society and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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Niculina Musat

Position: Associate Professor

I received my PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen on microbial symbioses. I further continued as a postdoctoral fellow in the Biogeochemistry department at the same institute for 6 more years. During this time, I have developed and applied the nano-scale Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (nanoSIMS) methodology for single-cell analysis in microbial ecology. Starting from 2012, I was assuming the position of scientific head of the Centre for Chemical Microscopy (ProVIS) at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig. Here I focused on the development of correlative high resolution chemical imaging approaches to understand single cell metabolism, cell-to-cell interactions, and their role in biogeochemical processes. Since February 2023, I joined the Section of Microbiology at Aarhus University as part of the NNF founded project, ReFuel, where I focus on studying bacteria-archaea interactions and their role in anaerobic processes.   

I enjoy spending time with my family, listening to classical music and playing basketball.

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Ugo Marzocchi

Position: Assistant Professor

I received my PhD at Aarhus University and then worked as a postdoc at Brussels University, University of Southern Denmark, and Stazione Zoologica Anton Dorhn.

My research focuses on the main factors that regulate macronutrients cycling in benthic systems. I am particularly fascinated by the activity of electro-active bacteria, among which cable bacteria. My work on this topic covers different aspects spanning between their metabolism, geochemical impact, diversity, and lastly, on how microbially-mediated currents can be applied to stimulate degradation and trapping of contaminants.

I address these topics primarily by applying isotopic tracers and sensing techniques such as microelectrodes and optodes.

My personal interests include diving, reading, music, and hang out with friends.

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Yonggang Yang

Position: Guest Researcher

I have a PhD in Microbiology from Southern China University of Technology in 2011. From 2011 to 2022, I worked in Guangdong Institute of Microbiology and was awarded Professor in Microbiology in 2017. Now I am a professor in Foshan University, China. 

My research interests include electromicrobiology and bioelectrochemical technologies. I investigated electron transfer mechanisms and environmental effects of Shewanella, Lysinibacillus. and cable bacteria. I also developed bioelectrochemical technologies for pollutant degradation (e.g. PAHs, PBDEs, microplastics) and bioremediation in both Lab-scale and practical river environments.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, or playing basketball and travel.

Perrine Marguerite Fernandez

Position: Postdoc

After an Engineering degree in Earth Sciences at Sorbonne University, in France, I completed my PhD at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, in Norway, and a first postdoc at Ben Gurion University, in Israel. I have also been teaching applied geophysics at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. 

I like to be at the crossroads between geophysics, geochemistry, and hydrogeology. I have worked on geophysical monitoring of redox degradation near the water table, remediation of acid mine drainage and metal leaching, as well as on the water cycle in the stems of living trees. Currently, I am trying to measure the effect of an electric field on ions transport.

 In my spare time, I like to travel, dive, take pictures, and when I am lucky, do all the above at the same time. I also like to read and get lost in imaginary worlds.

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Obinna Markraphael Ajunwa

Position: Postdoc

I had my early training in Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. I subsequently obtained a PhD in Microbial Electrophysiology and Electrobiotechnology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; enhancing extracellular electron transfer (EET) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. I had postdoctoral research experience at Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan working on tuning EET in bacterial biofilms for improved biosensing andelectrofermentation using bioelectrochemical systems. I currently work on mechanisms of electroactivity in weak electricigens and elucidating biopolymer-associated EET within biofilms. My hobbies include pencil drawing, singing, dancing, playing football and cooking.

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Jan Volker Henkel

Position: Postdoc

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Ramya Veerubhotla

Position: Postdoc

I received my PhD from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur in India, during which, I worked on the development of sustainable batteries using electroactive microbes. I developed an immense fascination for these microbes. To explore the possibility of developing biosensors using them, I joined as a postdoc in the Microsensor lab at Aarhus University. I am currently working towards better understanding of these electroactive biofilms, particularly in terms of micro-scale phenomenon. My interest in the Center for Electromicrobiology stems from looking into the possibilities of capturing electrons from cable bacteria.

Outside the lab, you can find me cooking, swimming, or doing crazy science DIY experiments. 

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Robin Bonné

Position: Postdoc

After getting my Master's degree in Physics and a Teacher's degree At Ghent University (Belgium), I searched for a way to combine physics with my other love for biology. I found the perfect PhD in biophysics at Hasselt University (Belgium) on the electrical and structural properties of cable bacteria.

Still my hunger for understanding the true nature of these creatures was not satisfied. After a short break as a maths teacher in high school, I started as a postdoc at CEM. In more electrical experiments, I will try to help unravel the fundamental electron transport mechanism in cable bacteria.

Outside of the lab you can find me travelling and exploring, playing music or performing improv theatre. On high days you will have a better chance of finding me in a couch with a cat on my lap.

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Kartik Ayier

Position: Postdoc

I completed my PhD in 2019 from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in India, followed by a postdoctoral stint at the Indian Institute of Technology at New Delhi. My research was on the fundamental and applied aspects of electroactive bacteria. I specialized in using bioelectrochemical systems for studying electron transfer mechanisms for applications like wastewater treatment, biosensing and resource recovery. My interest in cable bacteria lead me to the Center for Electromicrobiology in Aarhus University, where I will be studying their physiology. 

Aside from research, I love writing, running, yoga and meditation.

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Vincent Valentin Scholz

Position: Postdoc

I studied Water Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. In an experiment during my Master´s project we observed cable bacteria around roots of an aquatic plant. That brought me to the CEM where I further investigated the plant root-cable bacteria interaction. The project developed into my PhD and we were able to confirm the widespread abundance of cable bacteria around oxygen-releasing plant roots. We also found cable bacteria in rice fields and that cable bacteria activity reduces methane emissions! Now, I am validating the effect on methane emissions under field conditions and developing protocols for the large-scale application of cable bacteria in rice agriculture.

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Lasse Hyldgaard Klausen

Position: Postdoc

I received my PhD in nanoscience in 2016 from Aarhus University. Since then, I worked as postdoc at Copenhagen University and Stanford University before recently returning to Aarhus.

My research focuses on scanning probe microscopy and single-cell biophysics. I work at the interdisciplinary edge of nanoscience, biophysics and engineering, where I apply a combination of scanning probe, nanofabrication and molecular biology techniques.

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PhD Students

Bo Wang

Position: PhD student

I earned an Engineering Bachelor’s degree with distinction in Environmental Engineering in 2017 and in 2020 I gained a Double Master’s Degrees in Environmental Science and Engineering with distinction granted by the two renowned universities: University of Copenhagen (KU) and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). My master’s specialization is Water and Environment and Environmental Biotechnology.

In my current PhD study at CEM I focus on protein biochemistry in cable bacteria.

In my spare time I detach myself from science doing my favorite sports volleyball and badminton and meeting with people with diverse backgrounds to help me away from the depression.

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Yi Ouyang

Position: PhD student

I received my Master´s degree from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2020. My master thesis focuses on the study of synthesis and application of two-dimensional materials.

In 2022, I came to Aarhus University for my PhD.

My current research focuses on the application of scanning probe microscopy for two-dimensional materials based electrocatalytic devices.

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Yuge Zhang

Position: PhD student

I received my Master’s degree (2018-2021) from physical chemistry in Shandong University. My master thesis focuses on the study of nanofriction properties of 2D materials using AFM.

Currently, I investigate the conduction mechanism of cable bacterial via up-to date and in-situ SPM techniques including SECM and Fluid FM.

In my spare time, I am really into listening Chinese Gufeng music and playing badminton.

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Alexis Fonseca

Position: PhD student

I am a marine biologist, with a Master's degree in Biochemistry and Bioinformatics (2016) from the University of Concepción, Chile, doing my thesis on the identification of biosynthetic gene clusters in two uncultivated marine bacterial genomes, a filamentous bacteria and a spirochaete, collected from anoxic sediments in Chile.

Currently my project at CEM consists of studying the presence of cable bacteria in the sulfidic system along the Chilean coast. In this connection, my main interests are the ecological, genomics, evolutionary, and genomic aspects mixing experimental and bioinformatic approaches.

Outside of work I really enjoy listening to music (from folk to all styles of metal), I watch movies (especially thrillers and science fiction), I walk, everything related to football, and sometimes I try to read a book without feeling guilty because instead, I could be reading a paper :)

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Leonid Digel

Position: PhD student 

I received my BSc degree in Biotechnology at Kazakh National University in 2019. In 2020 I obtained my Master’s degree in Applied Blue Biotechnology from the University of La Rochelle. Right after that I came to Aarhus University to study cable bacteria for my PhD.

I have been and still am interested in different fields of the life sciences, however, I guess that my love for microbiology is mutual. Now, I focus on the structures and mechanisms which allow cable bacteria to perform Long Distance Electron Transfer.

Outside of working hours I all the same stand next to a table either playing tennis or board games. 

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Harm van Kuppevelt

Guest PhD student

I’m a geochemist from Utrecht, the Netherlands, with a background in physical and inorganic chemistry. I received my Msc. Degree in Geoscience at Utrecht University.

I’m working on my PhD project at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin, Germany, as part of the Marie Skłodowska Curie Innovating training Network “RecaP”. Within the RecaP project, I focus on the transformation of phosphorus in lake sediments, in particular at the formation of the mineral vivianite.

Ravi Kiran Sharma

Position: Erasmus Traineeship student

I am an Erasmus traineeship student. I completed my masters in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Pavia, where for my thesis, I worked on targeting the MET receptor in cancer cells. For my time period as an intern I will work on whole genome sequencing of uncultured strains of cable bacteria. 

Undergraduate Students

Angela Calvo Susilla

Position: Erasmus internship student

I am a ERASMUS student from the University of the Basque Country at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. My previous experience in a microbiology laboratory includes the study of horizontal gene transfer in bacterial biofilms, and the use of magnetotactic bacteria as magnetic hyperthermia agents for cancer treatment. 

I am fascinated by bacterial diversity. Thus, I was thoroughly captivated by cable bacteria when I first stumbled upon them. At the CEM, I am working on my Bachelor’s thesis, which focuses on developing genetic methods for investigating the protein machinery involved in key metabolic pathways of cable bacteria.

When not immersed in learning about the intricacies of the microbial world, I like to dance, read, write, and draw (to create art in all sorts of forms!), and I try to satisfy my craving for connection with nature, family, friends, and myself. 

Simon Abelstedt

Position: BSc student

I am a bachelor’s student in biology with a “secondary subject” in chemistry. I am particularly interested in the chemistry of life, and the microbial world. My project focuses on cable bacteria and their influence on phosphorous dynamics in freshwater sediment. Phosphorous is a major factor in limiting primary production in aquatic environments, and it can be bounded to, and adsorbed on minerals in sediment, such as vivianite (an iron(II) mineral which phosphorous binds to). I will investigate how cable bacteria affect vivianite formation in sediment, and the possible ramifications it has on the environment and bioremediation.

In my spare time I enjoy watching movies, playing video games, and listening to and playing music. Occasionally I enjoy drinking beer with my friends at fredagsbar.

Rabia Tuana Lekesiz

Position: Erasmus internship student

I am an Erasmus internship student who have worked as a volunteer in various places so far. The first of these was a company that produced rapid test kits for Covid-19, Influenza and HIV. Another place where I did an internship is an IVF center. My supervisors who I am working with Prof. Andreas Schramm and PostDoc Seven Nazipi Bushi on an Antibiotic Production Project from Ants.

According to my observations, Aarhus University has a really strong academic team and it is a great honor for me to be part of this team, albeit temporarily. I'm really grateful to everyone who gave me this chance.

In my sparetime I like playing volleyball and meeting new people. I love singing Turkish classical music and playing theater. I was a member of the drama club in high school. After completing my high school education with a second degree at Istinye Anatolia High School, I started my education at Biruni University and I will graduate from undergraduate level this year.

Mie Mai Corneliussen

Position: MSc student

I am a first year Master student after finishing my bachelor’s degree in Biology in June 2022. Currently, I am continuing the project I did while working on my bachelor thesis, also at CEM. The aim is to investigate the potential role cable bacteria might play in the production of nitrous oxide in marine sediments and subsequently their role in biogeochemical cycling.

In my spare time, when I’m not just recharging at home, I love cooking, watching football and doing yoga as well as enjoying the occasional beer with friends.  

Mads Lykke Justesen

Position: MSc student

I am a Master's student with a background in molecular biology from Aarhus University, so naturally I am interested in the tiniest structures inside cable bacteria. Thus, my work includes functional and spectroscopic assays to study isolated proteins from cable bacteria, but also a range of electron microscopy techniques to investigate cables and their composition in a near-native state - these techniques are namely cryo-EM, tomography, and STEM-EDX. 

Apart from working with cable bacteria, I particularly enjoy writing and drawing - mixed with a healthy amount of video games!

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Nikoline Madsen

Position: MSc student

I am a Master’s student studying molecular biology at Aarhus University’s Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. My project with CEM focuses on characterization of cable bacteria cytochromes, which are potentially involved in the reduction of the terminal electron acceptors.

My spare time is mostly spent socializing with friends and family or relaxing at home while reading or making paper crafts. When time allows it, I also enjoy travelling and experiencing different cultures, art and nature.

Ida Vinter Jensen

Position: BSc student

I am a bachelor’s student in molecular biology doing my bachelor’s project at CEM. The project focuses on N2 fixation in cable bacteria, with the aim of designing an RT-qPCR assay to quantify the expression of nifH in cable bacteria in environmental samples.

When I am not studying, I spend my time cooking, sailing, and gardening (with very varying results). I too enjoy knitting and sewing where my favorite part is starting new projects - which I might or might not finish.

Mathias Hvolby Pedersen

Position: BSc student

I am a bachelor student at biology and have chemistry as “sidefag”. I am doing my bachelors project with Ugo and my project has to do with measuring nitrous oxide production and nitrogen gas production in cable bacteria filled sediment.

Technical and Administrative Staff

Theresa Hagen Van

Position: Research Assistant

I am a molecular biologist and wrote both my bachelor and master thesis about cable bacteria and how they influence the surrounding environment and associated microbes. After finishing my studies, I just couldn’t let go of cables yet!

I am currently part of a collaborative effort to grow cable bacteria in artificially constructed sediment so a pure culture can be made.

I spend my free time seeing friends, playing videogames, and cross stitching.

Sina Haasler

Position: Research Assistant

I am an Environmental Scientist with a special interest in phosphorus (P) dynamics in the aquatic sector and its management for lake restoration. During my Master Thesis in Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University I specified on water quality and aquatic management, and thus, entered the world of P dynamics in freshwater systems and its cycling in the overall environment. Here, I explored the potential of Fe dosing for lake restoration and if it is possible to induce the formation of the reduced Fe-P mineral vivianite. Currently, I am a second year PhD student from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) investigating the recovery and bioavailability potential of P from freshwater sediments. My work back at SDU includes possible ways for lake sediment recycling from eutrophic systems, e.g., as P fertilizer in the agricultural sector, as well as how the P bioavailability is influenced by its speciation with a focus on Fe-phosphates. The coming year I will spend at Aarhus University getting introduced to the world of cable bacteria with a focus on their possible connection to P mineral (vivianite) formation for long-term burial processes in (freshwater) sediments.

In my free time I enjoy being outdoors, go for hikes, play some volleyball, and occasionally reaching a good spot for wave surfing.

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Lea Emilie Plum-Jensen

Position: Research Assistant

I have recently graduated from Aarhus University as a Master of Science in Biology. In my Master’s thesis I worked with metagenomes, metaproteomes, and metatranscriptomes to study the central metabolism of cable bacteria, and I studied the predicted tertiary and quaternary structures of unknown proteins, to obtain new knowledge on this. My position as a research assistant will be focused on the results from my Master’s thesis and writing a paper on this.

My spare time is mostly dedicated to taking care of my family (husband and two sons), but I also enjoy reading, knitting, and playing poker.

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Josephine Caroline Ward

Position: Research Assistant

I recently finished my master's degree in molecular biology here at Aarhus University, where I studied different truncated hemoglobins from cable bacteria. Here, I mainly worked with protein purification, protein crystallization, UV-Visible spectroscopy, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy to further elucidate the roles of truncated hemoglobins in the cables. I am currently working as a research assistant, where I still work with truncated hemoglobins and multiheme cytochromes from cable bacteria, as well as ice nucleating proteins from other bacteria. 

In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, yoga, reading and writing, and spending lots of time with friends and family.

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Jesper Lundsgaard Wulff

Position: Laboratory Technician

I am a laboratory technician graduated with a Profession Bachelor degree in laboratory technology from University College Copenhagen. I have previous experience working with biochemical and molecular biology assays from working at Institute of Biochemistry II, Frankfurt am Main.

My current responsibilities at CEM consist of taking care of cable bacteria cultivation, the microscopes of the center and the clean lab.

In my free time, I like to brew my own beer, spend time with my family and do fitness.

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Pia Bomholt Jensen

Position: Laboratory Technician

I have been working as a lab technician at Aarhus University for many years. I started at Department of Chemistry, then went to Department of Physics and Astronomy and the last 10 years I have been at iNANO. My areas of work has been very diverse, ranging from synthesis of superconductors to solar cells and analysis of biological material, using high technological equipment as electron microscopy as TEM and SEM. 

My current work at CEM consists of ultrastructural analysis of cable bacteria as well as their conductive fibers using TEM and SEM. I am also involved in development of conductive fiber extraction methods to enable studies of fiber conductivity and the underlying molecular structure.

My interests are all about family and nature. I spent a lot of time in my orangery, growing exotic fruits and flowers. I spend my holidays in the Alps in Austria, where I either ski or hike in the mountains.

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Jonas Frigaard

Position: Student Assistant

I am a student assistant at CEM, aiding my colleagues with practical ad hoc tasks, like a multifunctional tool that can help in almost any tasks required.

Besides that I am also doing my Master’s thesis at the section for microbiology and with NIRAS cooperating in the MethaneOX program, regarding the control of biofilm formation, by methanotropic bacteria, in drinking water production.

Apart from working at CEM and doing my Master’s thesis I enjoy sports, cheesecake and a nicely brewed cappuccino. 

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Else Magård

Position: Center Manager

I took over as Center Manager at CEM August 2022. I have a Master’s degree in Biology from Aarhus University from 1999 and since then I have been working with management and research support in various academic fields e.g. Computer Science, Biology, Molecular Biology, and Biomedicin and in a diversity of settings e.g. at Aarhus University and in The Amazonian forest.

I enjoy providing support to individual researchers as well as to facilitate the general work aspects of an ambitious research center such as collaboration coordination, outreach, administration, reporting etc. etc.  

My spare time activities include nature exploring in all forms e.g., walking, sailing, running, cycling, all year swimming etc. Also, happiness comes in many forms however being with friends and family is especially important.

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