Analysis and Control of Microbial Systems

Analysis and Control of Microbial Systems

Master student loading an agarose gel in the lab. Photo
Master student Martha Drågen loading an agarose gel. Photo: Alex Fiedler.

Research activity

News and Notices

News and Notices

On 29 June, Charlotte Volpe presented her PhD trial lecture on the prescribed subject: "The relevance of iron on phytoplankton physiology and bloom dynamics" before successfully defending in public her PhD thesis: "Investigating potential biotechnological uses of microbial biomass by genetic engineering and exploiting intra-specific ecological variability”. Congratulations!

Our traditional summer lunch was held on Tue 22 June, simplified and served outside this year due to local corona pandemic restrictions. Group picture was for the first time origanized as a web construct. 

Congratulations to the following students that sucessfully got their Master thesis approved at the end of the spring semester:

Nora P. Mølmen: "Janthinobacterium strains isolated from rearing systems for Atlantic salmon fry. Growth characteristics, violacein production and evolution of the violacein operon".

Elin Håberg: "The impact of washing procedures on nitrifying capacity and bacterial community composition of Leca biofilms in nitrifying biofilters at VEAS".

Anders Skovly: "Immersion challenges with larvae of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)".

Veslemøy Tesdal: "Start-up of a nitrifying MBBR biofilter for a pilot-RAS operated at high salinity for grow-out salmon at Havlandet".

Christine Våge Sjevelås: "Identification of two group IV silicanins in the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana".

Kristin Lillebo Bentzen: "Functional studies of two genes encoding closely related group II silicanins in the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana".

On 29 May, associated group member Ragnhild Olsen Fossmark successfully defended her PhD thesis of her project: "Evaluating the effects of different organic matter loads on microbial community dynamics in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), - & Strategies for salinity increase in RAS for Atlantic salmon post-smolts". Congratulations!

On 18 February, Sharada Navada presented her PhD trial lecture on the prescribed subject: "Nitrogen cycle from the ocean to food sustainability and ecologically-balanced societies" before successfully defending in public her PhD thesis: "Salinity acclimation strategies for nitrifying bioreactors in recirculating aquaculture systems”. Congratulations!

On 5 February, Synnøve Lofthus gave her PhD trial lecture entitled "Bacterial metabolic plasticity in environmental biology", before successfully defending in public her PhD thesis: "The effects of temperature and ice on biodegradation of crude oil". Congratulations! 

New paper: Blanca M. Gonzalez‑Silva, Kjell Rune Jonassen, Ingrid Bakke, Kjetill Østgaard & Olav Vadstein (2021): Understanding structure/function relationships in nitrifying microbial communities after cross‑transfer between freshwater and seawater. Nature Scientific Reports | (2021) 11:2979 | This is the 7th most cited journal in the world, with a 5-year impact factor of 4.576. So; not bad, really.

On 1 September, Leila Jafari got her Master thesis approved, entitled: “The effects of protein skimmer, hydrogen peroxide and salinity on water quality in RAS”.

Honouring the Microbes: 

Honouring the Microbes: Olav Vadstein envailing a new monument at NTNU to remind us all of the importance of the microbes for us and our planet (photo Per Henning NTNU). 

On August 20, professor Olav Vadstein presented a new statue honouring the microbes at NTNU. Together with professor Jochen Scmid, he has campained for this project for a year. The inspiration came from Japan, where several universities have done the same to create a ceremonial center expressing respect of microbial life. As far as we know, this is the first in Europe. There is a general lack of insight in microbial life and their essential ecological roles among the public as well as in academia. Since some of them may be pathogenic, they are also easily demonized. NTNU as a university has a duty to improve insight and respect for their importance for our planet and us. 

To find the best text for the monument, a competition was held and won by PhD candidate Lisa Titze:

Ode to microbes
You can be found everywhere on the globe,
yet you are but a tiny cell, a microbe.
Your contribution to our lives is vast.
Without you we could not live, could not last.
To study you is our quest,
to understand all the things you do best.
You help us so, if only you knew,
microbes, we stand in awe of you.