Group members

Philipp

Philipp Engel, Principal investigator

philipp.engel@unil.ch

Philipp Engel carried out his doctoral research at the Biozentrum in Basel, Switzerland, in the laboratory of Christoph Dehio. In Basel, he studied the bacterial pathogen Bartonella with a focus on Type IV secretion systems, host adaptation and bacterial genomics. He then moved to the USA to join the laboratory of Prof. Nancy Moran as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University. He worked on various aspects of the gut microbiota of honey bees, which included genomic and functional aspects aiming at the understanding of the symbiotic roles of the bee gut symbionts. During his time at Yale, Philipp also worked for four months in the Department of Chemistry with Prof. J. Crawford, to establish a collaboration on the studies of small molecules produced by the bee gut microbiota. In January 2014, Philipp moved back to Switzerland where he started his independent research at the University of Lausanne, continuing his work on the bee gut microbiota.

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Kirsten

Kirsten Ellegaard, Post-doctoral researcher

Kirsten.Ellegaard@unil.ch

Kirsten Ellegaard carried out her doctoral research at Uppsala University, Sweden, in the laboratory of Siv Andersson. Her major research interests include speciation processes, evolution and interactions within microbial communities. During her PhD, she studied the obligate bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia, particularly in terms of gene flow, recombination and speciation. Furthermore, since Wolbachia cannot be cultured, she also developed a protocol for isolation and genome sequencing of these bacteria from fruit flies, based on whole-genome amplification. Towards the end of her PhD, she shifted her research towards comparative genome analyses of lactic acid bacteria colonizing the honeybee gut. Kirsten joined the Engel lab in June 2015. Here, she will combine bioinformatic tools with laboratory experiments, in order to gain a better understanding of the evolution and function of the bacterial communities in the honeybee gut.

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Germán Bonilla-Rosso, Post-doctoral researcher

german.bonillarosso@unil.ch

Understanding the relationship between diversity and community functioning is a fundamental problem for modern biology, and lies at Germán Bonilla-Rosso’s main interest. Because biological variation exists at many different levels, its study requires approaches at different scales. During his PhD in Valeria Souza’s group in México, Germán analysed functional diversity in metagenomes from both oligotrophic microbial mats and marine surface waters. He then moved to Sara Hallin’s group in Uppsala, Sweden, where he focused on diversity within the denitrifier guild, specifically working with the phylogenies of nitrite reductases. There he also participated in projects studying microbial communities from tundra soils and nitrate-removing sediments in the arctic. In 2017, he joined the Engel lab where he will try to better understand the evolutionary processes affecting the relationship between genome diversity and function of the honeybee gut microbiome.

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Olivier_Emery_crop

Olivier Emery, PhD student

Olivier.Emery@unil.ch

Olivier Emery accomplished his Master in genomics and experimental biology at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, in the group of Prof. Yves Poirier at the Departement of Plant Molecular Biology (DBMV). His project focused on the identification of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants deficient in phosphate acquisition. Subsequently, he did an internship at the Laboratory for Environmental Biotechnology of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL) in the group of Prof. Jean-Paul Schwitzguébel to study microalgae as a potential source for biodiesel and high-value compounds. Afterwards, he started a second Master in biology, at the University of Geneva, oriented towards bioinformatics and data analysis in biology. For his Master project, he chose to study sexual dimorphism in gene expression in the dioecious plant Mercurialis annua using RNA-sequencing in the group of Prof. John Pannell at the Departement of Ecology and Evolution (DEE, University of Lausanne). He joined the Engel group in June 2014 as a PhD student to study various aspects of the symbiosis between a gut symbiont and its host, the honey bee.

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Lucie_crop

Lucie Kešnerová, PhD student

Lucie.Kesnerova@unil.ch

Lucie obtained her Master in cell and molecular biology of plants at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. She was a member of the Laboratory of Plant Virology (IEB, AS CR) where she worked under the supervision of Dr. Tomas Moravec. During her Master project she studies tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and used molecular methods to produce rod TMV particles of adjusted length in Nicotiana benthamiana plants. Her research on this topic skilled her in molecular biology, agroinfiltration and transmission electron microscopy.
She moved to Lausanne in October 2014 to start her PhD. She will study the influence of different members of microbial gut community on honey bee health and the interactions between them and the host.
While she has satisfied her keen interest in botany in Prague botanical garden as a guide, she is now blissful in working on bacterial symbionts and being surrounding by mountains during summer (and winter) months.

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Konstantin

Konstantin Schmidt, PhD student

Konstantin.Schmidt@unil.ch

Konstantin obtained his Master´s degree in Biochemistry at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg under the supervision of Dr. T. Pfirrmann where he analysed the involvement of a protein complex into ciliogenesis of mammalian cells and developing Xenopus laevis embryos. He is interested in analysing and understanding the bases of host microbe interactions on a molecular level. He wants to elucidate which mechanisms determine and are involved in an interaction between two organisms and how certain organisms either pathogenic or symbiotic may overcome or withstand the host immune system and responses. So far his studies were focused pathogenic host microbe interactions in plants. He carried out his Bachelor´s thesis as well as a job as a student´s research assistant in the lab of Prof. Dr. U. Bonas under the supervision of Dr. J. Stuttmann where he analysed an immune-regulatory protein of Arabidopsis thaliana important for the defence against the oomycete pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis. During his Master studies he did an internship in the Lab of Dr. N. Dissmeyer where he studied pathogenic mechanisms to overcome A. thaliana immune responses. Konstantin joined the Engel group in December 2015 as a PhD student. Here he will work on bacterial genetics of microbial symbiosis in the honey bee gut

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Michaël Troilo, technician

 

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