This project aims to determine the function of eukaryotic-like proteins (ELPs) from bacterial symbionts of sponges and apply this knowledge to develop new tools for biotechnology.

This project will use innovative microscopy techniques and gene expression studies to define the molecular and cellular interactions of ELPs with sponges and how this is influenced by changing environmental conditions.

ELPs will be further used to create new, artificial interactions between bacteria and eukaryotes. This project will provide fundamental knowledge on the evolution and function of newly discovered ELPs found in both beneficial and pathogenic bacteria and paves the way to control symbiosis for biotechnological applications. 


Coastal microbial observatories

Our large-scale coastal microbial observatory program investigates the temporal and spatial dynamics of microbial communities in the water column. We observe sediments and coral, seaweeds, sponges and seagrasses.

Microbial contribution to life in the deep sea

Despite the lack of sunlight and nutrients, many deep-sea environments are full of coral reefs and sponge gardens. We’re aiming to understand how the metabolic capacity and versatility of symbiotic bacteria support their growth.

Functional diversity and redundancy of marine communities

In this important project, we aim to define the assembly of microbial communities by functional properties rather than by the species.