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People

Academic Staff

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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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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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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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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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Nicola Camillini

Position: PostDoc

I did my shared PhD at SCU in Australia and SDU Denmark, during which I studied C and N cycling in seagrass ecosystems.

Now I am a PostDoc working on the BIOMAP project, which explores the interplay between electric potential differences on the soil surface and electro-active microorganisms in polluted soils. 

My personal interests include hiking, climbing and surfing.

PhD Students

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Vincent Scholz

Position: PhD student

I studied Water Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen, which taught me about water-related processes at the interface of chemistry and microbiology. Then, during my Master´s project here at CEM, I have started to really like my project about cable bacteria around plant roots, the research environment, and the leisure activities I can do outside of university, such as sailing and surfing – and that is what I am still doing, but now as a PhD student.

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Jamie Lustermans

Position: PhD student

After 1.5 years in 2017 I graduated my MSc. in Biology specialized in Microbiology from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. During my studies I spent 8 months researching ammonium oxidizing archaea and their partnerships with heterotrophs at DOME in Vienna and an additional 7 months in Nijmegen about comparative genomics of comammox and Nitrospira and additionally the localization of an NXR protein through EM.

From there I spend a year teaching students, setting up and managing 2 administrative projects at the same faculty of Science while interning at the microbiology department to do more Electron Microscopy.
I ended up in Aarhus in 2018 where I am working on my PhD with the exciting topic of cable bacteria, and whether they exchange electrons with the surrounding (natural) bacterial community.

For relaxing purposes I watch series, movies, read books and hike like a normal person, and in every other way I am creatively crazy enough to draw, paint, cook/bake and photograph. When I can detach myself from my beloved bacteria, I love travelling to experience more of the world, but Corona kind of killed that for now.

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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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Ann-Sofie Dam

Position: PhD student 

I studied Biology at Aarhus University from 2014-2019. I did both my Bachelor’s project and Master’s thesis at CEM. In my Master’s thesis I found that salinity affected cable bacteria diversity and species composition. In my PhD project I intend to broaden the understanding of the environmental effects on the physiology and the evolutionary process of cable bacteria.   

My outside work activities include long walks on the beach and I like puppies but I don’t like cold coffee. I also like to make jokes and maybe that’s why I spend a lot of time alone. 

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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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Asim ur-Rahman

Position: Guest PhD student

I have a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology, an M.Phil in Microbiology and I am currently enrolled as a PhD student at the Department of Microbiology, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

My current research project is “Studies on Siderophores Extracted from Radioresistant microorganisms and their Bioactive Potential”. My scientific interests are to learn about Microbial Physiology of the radioresistant microorganisms, Investigation of Microbial Secondary Metabolites for their Bioactive Potential like antioxidants, antimicrobials, anticancer agents. And most importantly I am here to learn about cable bacteria, especially how they cope with the problem of oxidative stress and what kind of secondary metabolites they produce that could be commercialized for human use.

My interests outside work are traveling and exploring different countries learning about their cultures and learning their language as well as like to play cricket and volleyball.  

Undergraduate Students

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Theresa Hagen Van

Position: BSc student

I am a bachelor student in molecular biology at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. In my bachelor project, I will investigate if cable bacteria alter the efficiency of CaO2's ability to degrade sludge in marine sediment.

In my spare time I enjoy listening to music, embroider cross stitches, and playing Playstation.

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Nikoline Madsen

Position: BSc student

I’m writing my bachelor thesis in molecular biology at Aarhus University’s Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics in collaboration with CEM. The project is focused on characterization of a periplasmic octaheme cytochrome (OCC) involved in the nitrate reduction system of cable bacteria.  

My spare time is mostly spent socializing with friends and family, reading, following NFL and doing paper crafts. When times allow it I also enjoy travelling and experiencing different cultures, art and nature.

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Henrik Høi Liboriussen

Position: BSc student

I am a bachelor student from biology and is currently writing my bachelor project here at CEM. In my bachelor project I am testing a qPCR approach for quantifying cable bacteria in marine sediments. Using this method, I will also try to investigate how variable the abundance of cable bacteria can be on a small, local scale.

In my spare time I play football, spikeball and volley. Besides sports I also enjoy spending time in the nature, with my family and travelling whenever it is possible. 

Technical and Administrative Staff

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Ronny Baaske

Position: Lab technician

My most recent degree is a vocational education as a lab technician for biology. Before coming to CEM, I was working at the "Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research", Warnemünde, Germany and "Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology", Dummerstorf, Germany.

Here at CEM I am now involved in almost all projects about cable bacteria. Most of my expertise lies in microscopy and cultivation. Additionally I work on projects using microfluidics, electrochemistry and optical sensing.

Outside of work I like to spend my time mostly climbing or enjoying any special beer the bars in Aarhus can offer.

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Mette Jepsen

Position: Centermanager

I started as a centermanager for CEM in November 2020. Before that, I was Assistant Professor in the lab of Ass. Prof. Ebbe S. Andersen at iNANO, AU. In 2014 I finished my PhD, which I did in the labs of Prof. Jørgen Kjems and Ass. Prof Victoria Birkedal, also at iNANO. My research was focussed on DNA and RNA origami, and in particular I worked with fluorescence in both types of structures.

During the past couple of years, my interest in the managerial and administrative parts of running a research group increased, and I started helping my PI with both. Therefore, the step to take a centermanager position came natural to me.

My interests in my spare time is spending time with family, knitting and crocheting, as well as playing volleyball.

Academic staff

Jesper Tataru Bjerg, Gæsteforsker, Institut for Biologi - Mikrobiologi
Thomas Boesen, Cryo-EM Facility Manager, Institut for Molekylærbiologi og Genetik - Neurobiologi
Andreas Schramm, Professor, vicecenterleder, Institut for Biologi - Mikrobiologi

PhD students

Benjamin Smed Korsgaard, Ph.d.-studerende, Institut for Molekylærbiologi og Genetik - Proteinvidenskab
Stefano Scilipoti, Ph.d.-studerende, Institut for Biologi - Mikrobiologi

Technical and administrative staff

Pia Bomholt Jensen, Laborant, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center - INANO-Fysik, iNANO-huset
Sissel Rønning, Erhvervssproglig medarbejder, Institut for Biologi - Sekretariat, Institut for Biologi