About the team

Since January 2017, the writing of the (nearly) daily Microbiome Digest blog posts has been done by a fantastic team of scientists from all over the world, who all share their love of microbiology and science communication here. Here, they introduce themselves.

Updated: March 30, 2020

Tulika Arora

Tulika Arora is a postdoc in University of Copenhagen, Denmark in Fredrik Backhed’s group. She has been working in the gut microbiome field for the last 6 years and is interested in investigating role of the gut microbiota in the host physiology.

Posts by Tulika Arora

Juan Pablo Cardenas


JP is currently an Assistant Professor at the Universidad Mayor in Santiago, Chile. Before that, he did his PhD at the Universidad Andrés Bello in Santiago and he worked at uBiome. He is interested in bioinformatics, phylogenomics, and microbial ecology.

Juan Pablo’s profile on Research Gate
Twitter: @jpca_chile
Posts by Juan Pablo Cardenas



Kiran Gurung

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 10.28.20 AM.pngKiran is a PhD student at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Her work involves understanding the microbiome of Drosophila suzukii. Kiran is interested in host-associated microbiomes and science writing.

Twitter: @kirangurung29
Posts by Kiran Gurung



Aleksi Husso

N_ytt_kuva_2020_8_31_kello_11.38.08Aleksi Husso is a PhD student at the University of Helsinki, Finland, whose research is focused on animal microbiomes and early host-microbe interactions. He works in the Doctoral Programme in Microbiology and Biotechnology. 


Posts by Alexi Husso

Axel Künstner

csm_Axel_Kuenstner_e31d16452fI have a background in computer sciences and evolutionary genomics. I worked on a couple of genome projects in the past and focused mainly on bird genomics during my PhD. During the past 5 years I did a couple of microbiome projects and give a lecture about the topic twice a year. I’m still following the field very actively despite I shifted my projects slightly away from pure microbiome research towards all kind of sequencing data.

Institutional website

Posts by Axel Künstner

Ashok Kumar Sharma

Ashok Kumar Sharma is working as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist from 2018 in Gomez lab at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. The focus of his lab is to understand the factors that shape the composition and function of primates gut microbiomes and their subsequent interactions with the host. He has completed his bachelor’s and masters both in Pharmaceutical Sciences followed by Ph.D. in Computational Biology from Metagenomics and Systems biology laboratory at IISER Bhopal India. During his doctoral research, he has developed various machine-learning-based methods and is involved in two large scale metagenomic studies “construction of gut microbial gene catalogs in Indian population”, and “identification of microbial signatures associated with colorectal cancer (CRC)”. In his current work, he is using system-wide, multi-omics approaches to understand host-microbiome interactions in animal and human models under diverse physiological conditions.

Twitter – @ashoks773
Linkedin profile
Posts by Ashok Kumar Sharma


Shirin Moossavi

avatar_huf05be8a03db0b219470bcbf81ced1f43_481426_270x270_fill_q90_lanczos_centerShirin Moossavi is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Biomedical Engineering. Shirin obtained her Medical Doctorate from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran; her MSc in Genetic Manipulation and Molecular Biology from University of Sussex, UK; and PhD in Medical Microbiology from the University of Manitoba. She is the Early-Mid Career Ambassador of International Society of Microbial Ecology and the Founding Director of Microbiome and Microbial Ecology Interest Group at Universal Scientific Education and Research Network.

Professional homepage

Posts by Shirin Moossavi

James O’Brien

I’m currently a masters student at the University of Warwick (UK) working on the C. elegans microbiota, hopefully starting a PhD later on in the year. It would be great to post about the current research into C. elegans and its microbiota, which in my eyes is a really valuable model.

Posts by James O’Brien

Ariane Panzer

Ariane Panzer is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a PhD candidate in Dr. Susan Lynch’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research focuses on functions of the early-life gut microbiome and its impact on the development of the human immune system in the context of childhood allergic asthma. She is also passionate about science communication, equity and inclusion in the sciences, and open science.

Twitter: @STEMbiosis

Posts by Ariane Panzer

Alise Ponsero

Alise is a microbiologist and a bioinformatician who received her PhD in microbiology and cellular biology from the University of Paris-Saclay (France). She also holds a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Rennes (France). She is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arizona (USA). Her research focuses on the development of new bioinformatic tools to analyze metagenomics datasets, and the development of cyberinfrastructures for microbiologists.

Twitter: @APonsero
Website: http://aliseponsero.fr/

Posts by Alise Ponsero


Feargal Ryan

Screen Shot 2021-08-26 at 11.20.32 AMMy background is BSc. in Microbiology, MSc. in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology. I completed my PhD in APC Microbiome institute in Ireland where I worked on the microbiome in IBD. After that I worked as a post doc in the gut virome area with Colin Hills group in Cork, Ireland. Currently I’m working as a post doc in an EMBL Australia group in the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. 

Institutional page

Posts by Feargal Ryan

Atin Sharma

e04f1ddd2b148a96f90cd73ee3b4dfc2Atin Sharma: I am a postdoc in the Department of Molecular biology, Umeå University, Sweden. I work with the enteric pathogen, Shigella, and I am trying to identify the factors that allow this notorious bacterium to adapt and thrive in the human colon. I received my PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology, India in 2018 for my work on an RNA binding chaperone protein, Hfq, and antibiotic resistance mechanisms in another notorious bacterium, Acinetobacter baumannii.

Twitter: @atins88 and @FridgeComics 

Posts by Atin Sharma

Varun Sridhar

Varun is an undergraduate student at the University of Washington – Seattle. He currently works in Dr. Ajai Dandekar’s group, where he studies quorum sensing in Pseudomonas aeruginosa> in the context of cystic fibrosis.

Varun’s LinkedIn
Varun’s Twitter


Kara Ann Tinker

Kara Ann TinkerKara is a microbial ecologist with experience integrating molecular biology, computational, and statistical methods to study complex microbial communities in a variety of environments. She received her doctorate from the University of Georgia in 2018 and was previously was an ORISE Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Energy Technology Lab. She is now a contract research scientist completing work for the Department of Energy at the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh, PA.


Posts by Kara Ann Tinker

Svetlana Ugarcina Perovic


Dr Svetlana Ugarcina Perovic (https://twitter.com/svetlana_up) is a microbiome researcher in the Big Data Biology Lab http://big-data-biology.org/ (Fudan University, Shanghai, China). She is a strong supporter of the open science initiatives, such as the Microbiome Virtual International Forum https://www.microbiome-vif.org/, National Summer Undergraduate Research Project https://nsurp.org/ etc.

Twitter: @svetlana_up
Posts by Svetlana Ugarcina Perovic

Past members: