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


Richard Abdill


Richard Abdill is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota, where his focus is on using machine learning techniques to analyze the microbial ecology of the human colon, particularly the relationship between bacterial communities and host gene expression. He is also interested in bibliometrics and open-science practices in biology.

Twitter: @richabdill
Personal website: richabdill.com
Posts by Richard Abdill


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

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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


Barak Dror

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Barak is a joint PhD Student at the Cytryn Lab (Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization) and Jurkevitch lab (Hebrew U of Jerusalem, Israel). He uses computational biology tools and methods, along with molecular biology and classic microbiology to explore novel antifungal gene clusters in plant root microbiomes. In his free time, Barak is a MBA candidate (Hebrew U), intrested in entrepreneurship in agriculture and food.

Twitter: @dror_barak
Personal website: BarakDror.com
Posts by Barak Dror


Arti Dumbrepatil

Arti DArti Dumbrepatil is a science communication writer, microbiologist, and a biochemist. She worked previously at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, as a postdoctoral researcher for biological chemistry. During her tenure at the University of Michigan, she has worked as a Science Communication Fellow (at the Natural History Museum, UMICH) and as a Science Communication Writer ( LSA, UMICH).  As a Science Writer, her writings have covered various topics from Nanorobots to Virology. Arti continues to write as a contributing author American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

Arti’s LinkedIn Page


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


Zehra Tüzün Güvener

Tüzün is currently engaged in Freelance Consulting leveraging her expertise in strain engineering to engage in short-term or long-term consulting projects. She holds a Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked in academic research laboratories for over 15 years and recently pivoted to biotech. Her academic work focused on the ability of bacteria to sense and response to their environment, cyclic-di-GMP metabolism and genetic factors contributing to biofilm formation. As a Project Scientist at UC Berkeley, she studied a low complexity model gut microbiome from the fruit fly gut to better understand dynamics of microbial interactions in the community with success in developing methods for chemical screens and genome editing of natural isolates.

Tüzün’s LinkedIn page
Posts by Tüzün Güvener


Xin Huang

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKdAAAAJDRmMGM4YjZiLTRjMTUtNDJiZi04MTg4LWY0NTIzMTgxOWFlYg.jpgXin is a postdoc at Dr. Julie Segre’s lab at NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda (MD, USA). Before that, he did his PhD in the Armbruster Lab at Georgetown University. His current research topic is skin microbiome and the causal relationship between Staphylococcus aureus and eczema.

Xin’s LinkedIn profile
Posts by Xin Huang


Ashok Kumar Sharma

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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


Ryan Kaien Nah

Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) in Microbiology and Immunology. He is interested in science communication and all things microbial.

Posts by Ryan Kaien Nah


Quang P. Nguyen

Quang P. Nguyen is a PhD student at Dartmouth College in the Quantitative Biomedical Sciences (QBS) program with a focus in molecular epidemiology. His work is currently on multi-omic approaches to describe how breast milk intake shapes the functional ecology of the infant gut microbiome.

Twitter: @quangnpm210595


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


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/


James Robson

James RJames Robson is a PhD student at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Briston, UK. He works under Dr. David Qualtrough, and is studying the relationship between gut bacteria and colorectal cancer, with a focus on how benign and malignant tumours react differently to microbes. Away from cancer research, his scientific passions include biofilms and microbial ecology.

Twitter: @JamesRobson46

Email: james5.robson@uwe.ac.uk


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


Diana Hazard Taft

Diana Hazard Taft is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California Davis in the laboratory of Dr. David Mills.  Her current research is focused on the development of the term infant microbiome and acquisition of antimicrobial resistance genes.  She has B.A. in biology and chemistry and Ph.D. in epidemiology.

Diana Hazard Taft’s posts


Svetlana Ugarcina Perovic

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Svetlana Ugarcina Perovic is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at UCIBIO/REQUIMTE (University of Porto), from 2016 in the Research Group of Dr Luisa Peixe, that is dedicated to investigating ecology and evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria in different ecological niches. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and a Ph.D. in Environmental Microbiology from University of Novi Sad (Serbia). Her postdoctoral work at University of Glasgow (2014) and University of Porto (2015) focused on drinking water microbiome in distribution systems. Her current research interests include capturing the diversity and exploring the role of urinary microbiota in women health and disease. She is an organizing committee member of the MicroMundo@UPorto, a service-learning project for education in microbiology and antimicrobial resistance awareness.

Twitter: @svetlana_up
Posts by Svetlana Ugarcina Perovic


Past members: