Henning Onsbring Gustafson

PhD Student


Already when I started the Natural Sciences Programme in high school, I knew I wanted to start studying at university to get a degree in biotechnology. It was my interests in genetics and genomics that later brought me to Uppsala University to study the Master Programme in Molecular Biotechnology Engineering.

In my third year at Uppsala University, I did research training at the Department of Organismal Biology in a group focused on evolution and development. There I realized that I wanted to continue with academic research after graduation. During my last two years as an undergraduate student my interest in microbiology was growing. I had many great lecturers on topics related to microbiology that inspired me to consider future research in this field.

My initial plan for PhD studies was to go abroad. But at the end of my engineering studies I had a course where Thijs Ettema was the lecturer. When he talked about the single-cell platform at his lab and the possibilities to explore unknown microbial diversity with these techniques, I felt I had to contact him about possibilities for PhD studies.

Current research

Right now, my main project is to explore the vast diversity of uncharacterized protists. More insight into the genomic content of unicellular eukaryotes could give clues about the origin and evolution of the eukaryotic cell. The aim of the project is to set up workflows that will enable genomic analysis of uncultivated protists.