Principal Investigator
Heroen Verbruggen
E-mail: heroen.verbruggen@gmail.com
PhD: Ghent University, 2005
My interests span the fields of algal evolution, microbial symbiosis, genome evolution and bioinformatics. I love computational simulation as a tool to explore ideas and methods, and nerdy science stuff in general.
Postdocs
Joana Costa, postdoctoral researcher / research assistant
E-mail: jferreiracosta@gmail.com
PhD: University of Melbourne, 2018
I'm interested in seaweed evolution. I've been investigating the evolutionary dynamics of traits such as thermal affinities at geological time scales, and their impact on seaweed biodiversity.
Pilar Diaz, postdoctoral researcher
E-mail: pdiaz@udc.es
PhD: University of A Coruña, 2013
My research interests focus on phylogenomics, systematics and evolution of the red algae, particularly of the family Rhodomelaceae. I also investigate the diversity and taxonomy of this group using an integrative approach that combines morphological and molecular studies.
Chris Jackson, postdoctoral researcher
E-mail: cjackson1245@gmail.com
PhD: University of Melbourne, 2011
I'm interested in algal evolution, endosymbiosis, genomics and bioinformatics. I'm investigating genomic changes that occur when two eukaryotic cells merge during secondary plastid endosymbiosis, focusing on dinoflagellates.
Students
Guadalupe Bribiesca Contreras, PhD candidate (with Museum Victoria)
MSc: National Autonomous University of Mexico, 2014
E-mail: pita73837@hotmail.com
My main research focus is large-scale biodiversity patterns and their underlying evolutionary processes, using brittlestars as an exciting model system. I am also interested in other aspects of evolution, such as trait evolution, cryptic speciation and evolutionary methods.
Chiela Cremen, PhD candidate
MSc: University of the Philippines Los Baños, 2007
E-mail: chiecremen@gmail.com
I use a combination of molecular techniques and genome-scale phylogenetics to inform the higher-level classification of siphonous green algae and better understand their evolution.
Olivia Doyle, volunteer
BSc: University of Melbourne, 2016
E-mail: odoyle@student.unimelb.edu.au
My project involves identifying the invasive and native subspecies of Codium fragile via morphometrics, with a concentration on identifying past invasives using herbarium samples.
Samira Imran, MSc candidate
BSc: Monash University Malaysia, 2016
E-mail: samirai@student.unimelb.edu.au
I am looking at the bacteria associated with the alga Ostreobium quekettii using bioinformatic approaches, characterising their genomes and hoping to understand the symbioses in this system.
Ming Fen Eileen Lee, BSc candidate
E-mail: mlee7@student.unimelb.edu.au
My project involves locating bacteria associated with Ostreobium using Fluorescence In Situ Hybridisation (FISH) microscopy. Culturing the algae is another major component of my work.
Marisa Pasella, intern
MSc: Marche Polytechnic University, 2017
E-mail: m.pasella91@gmail.com
My background is in algal ecophysiology. I've been helping out others in the lab with DNA work and chloroplast genome bioinformatics. I have also established cultures of Ostreobium quekettii for experimental work.
Sonja Repetti, BSc honours student
E-mail: srepetti@student.unimelb.edu.au
I am fascinated by microbial protists and the phenomenon of plastid endosymbiosis, how a photosynthetic bacterial endosymbiont was reduced to an organelle and spread around the tree of life. My honours project involves combining short and long read sequencing to characterise mitochondrial and nuclear genomes in green algae.
Francesco Ricci, PhD candidate
MSc: University of Bologna, 2015
E-mail: riccifrancesco1989@gmail.com
I investigate the micro-niches within the skeleton of scleractinian corals, using planar optode imaging to analyse their physicochemical properties and molecular techniques to characterise the associated microbiota.
Kavitha Uthanumallian, MPhil candidate
MSc: University of Madras, 2002
E-mail: kavithamallayaa@gmail.com
I am interested in metalloprotein evolution as a function of trace metal availability through geological time. I use bioinformatics methods and study the impact of metals on protein structures by implementing computational methods such as MD simulations.
Lab alumni
Seraphya Berrin
Group member: 2013-2015 (MSc)
Margaret Brookes
Group member: 2014-2017 (BSc/Hons)
Emilia Croce
Group member: 2017-2018 (visiting postdoc)
Cintia Iha
Group member: 2017 (visiting PhD student)
Marie Kinsey
Group member: 2015 (BSc)
Vanessa Rossetto Marcelino
Group member: 2011-2017 (MSc, PhD)
Maika Matsumoto
Group member: 2018 (intern)
Sam Old
Group member: 2016-2018 (MSc)
Lambros Stavrias
Group member: 2013-2014 (MSc)
James Tapa
Group member: 2018 (BSc)
Lennert Tyberghein
Group member: 2008-2012 (MSc, PhD)