Hej! I did my PhD in microbiology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa on microbial genomics. Under the guidance of Dr Stuart Donachie, my PhD research focused on cultivation and complete genome sequencing of Gloeobacter kilaueensis JS1, one of the earliest diverging cyanobacteria that lack thylakoid membranes; it was isolated from a cave in Kilauea Caldera on the Big Island of Hawaii.
At the Ettema-Lab, I am currently working on microbial diversity (archaeal and bacterial) from various ‘extreme’ environments, such as hot springs from Yellowstone National Park and hydrothermal vents from around the world. By combining single-cell genomics and metagenomics, I hope to identify potentially novel microbial lineages from these environments to understand their diversity, abundance, evolution, and roles in these environments. Current focus is on deeply branching archaeal lineages but any potentially novel bacterial lineages are also targets for further characterization. I am actively looking for samples that may harbor interesting/weird life forms and if you have such samples please feel free to contact me and we can discuss about collaborative projects.
My research interests are quite broad and span several disciplines: from microbial ecology in extreme environments to origin of life itself on Earth. In addition to uncovering microbial ecology and diversity in various environments, I am also interested in community assembly, succession, and dispersal. Besides my postdoctoral research, I am also interested in detection of life on other planets or satellites both in and out of the solar system. I am also fascinated by the origin and evolution of human languages and human migration patterns before the recorded history.