Director & Cofounder
Professor Lauro was born and raised in Venice, Italy. He graduated from University of Padua and went on to obtain his PhD at Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO) at the University of California in San Diego, California (UCSD). Currently, he is an Associate Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Adjunct Professor at UNSW and Associate Chair at the Asian School for the Environment.
He has pioneered skills in both experimental and computational sciences – in particular, deep-sea and Antarctic microbiology. In total, he has authored 51 peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals including Science and PNAS. In total, his publications have been cited >3000 times, with an H-index of 30. He is also a champion sailor in both Australia and Italy. He is an Explorer’s Club fellow and winner of the prestigious Lowell Thomas Award in Visionaries in Conservation: Paradigm Shifts in Conservation.
Outreach Director & Cofounder
Rachelle graduated from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) with a BS in Biochemistry & Cell Biology. She was one of seven undergraduates to be awarded with a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) grant and she spent three months at the the Bermuda Biological Station for Research studying the molecular mechanism of stress in hard corals.
After graduation, she worked as a Research Associate in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, while pursuing her passion for the oceans as a photographer and writer. She is a NAUI Master Diver, Scientific Diving and Nitrox certified. She is also an Explorer’s Club member.
Gabriel was born and raised in San Diego, California, where he developed a lifelong love of the ocean and outdoors. He has since been exploring and living in coastal environments across the world both as a student, teacher, and a professional. After completing his undergraduate degree in global studies at UC Santa Barbara, he spent several years living in mainland China as a teacher at a new concept university, then as a student of Mandarin Chinese, and as a content creator for a media company. He continued to develop his Mandarin Chinese skills as a language scholarship recipient in Taiwan before spending time back in San Diego working for a philanthropic donor advised fund. He then completed his graduate studies at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) in Environmental Policy.
Dr Ostrowski is Deputy Director of the Macquarie Marine Research Center. He’s a molecular biochemist with 12 years experience in marine microbiology. At Macquarie University he works in a team that is interested in the ecology and evolution of primary producers, including marine cyanobacteria (Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus) and tiny algae know as photosynthetic pico-eukaryotes (PPE).
Dr Ostrowski’s work involves isolating, sequencing and analysing the genomes of marine phytoplankton and developing novel methods to measure their role in global bio-geochemical cycles. Martin manages a state-of-the-art flow cytometry and cell sorting facility established at Macquarie University to explore the microbial ‘dark matter’ of the oceans using novel fluorescence detection strategies and single-cell approaches.
Before moving to Macquarie University Martin worked as a Post-Doc at the University of Warwick in the UK and participated in the Atlantic Meridional Transect Program (amt.pml.org).
Volunteer Research Scientist
Dr Chénard is a research fellow with the Air Microbiome integrated programme at Nanyang Technological University. Her main research interests include viral genomic and metagenomic as well as phage-host interactions. Dr Chénard’s previous work involves the genomic characterisation of viruses infecting polar cyanobacteria.
Ian Paulsen is a Laureate Professor of Genomics and Deputy Director of the Macquarie Biomolecular Frontiers Centre at Macquarie University. He is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher with more than 200 publications. He received a PhD from Monash University and was an NHMRC C.J. Martin Fellow at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). He then took a faculty position at the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), where he led many microbial genome sequencing projects.
Ian returned to Australia in 2007 as a Professor at Macquarie University, where his recent research is focused on novel metagenomic and systems biology approaches to investigate microbial adaptation to different environments. Ian’s blog- http://mqgenomics.blogspot.com.au
Professor Givskov is Director Costerton Biofilm Center at University of Copenhagen and Research Director at SCELSE, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Mike holds a key position in international biofilm and chemical biology research as the Director of the Costerton Biofilm Centre, University of Copenhagen. Over the past decade, Mike has attracted competitive granting for approx. 120 mill DKK. In 2010, Mike also contributed to the attraction of the 125mill SGD SCELSE grant from the Singaporean National Research Council where he functions as a Research Director.
Mike is the the former head of Department for Biomedical Microbiology (DTU), and has experience with establishment of companies in University environments (inventor and company founder of QSI-Pharma, a subsidiary of Leo Pharma, DK & Biosignals Ltd, AU) and vice director of QSI-Pharma. His career underlines my excellent networking skills, international engagements and scientific impact (present, 225 publications, H-index of 69 with 12500+).
Ian Brown, MBA, founded OnPiste Private Capital, which is Japan’s largest developer of ski-in/ski-out acomodation and owns Japan’s highest residential ski complex. Ian has extensive history of business innovation and sustainable development. He pioneered an Asia region communications architecture in use at Singtel and pioneered Australia’s first tax preferred issuance of Government bonds for Telstra. He chaired SAP Asia Pacific Japan’s Corporate Social Responsibility goverance committee and co-authored independent articles on software’s role in optimizing Total Factor Productivity in emerging economies. He also held senior executive positions (Vice President / Director) roles with Macquarie Bank; CitiGroup Private Bank; Singtel Group; Accenture and SAP. He is a frequent public speaker on the top of business communications and represented SAP at the World Economic Forum’s 2011 Summer Davos.
Professor Brian Arthur is a leading economist and complexity thinker credited with influencing and describing the modern theory of increasing returns. He is best known for his pioneering work on positive feedbacks or increasing returns in the economy—what happens when products that gain market share find it easier to gain further market share—and their role in locking markets in to the domination of a single player. He is currently a professor at the Santa Fe Institute, Intelligent Systems Lab and at Nanyang Technological University.
He is credited with the invention of the El Farol Bar problem. Arthur is also one of the pioneers of the science of complexity. He is a member of the Founders Society of the Santa Fe Institute and in 1988 ran its first research program. Arthur speaks regularly at World Economic Forums.
Professor Hood currently stands on the Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission (IOC) with UNESCO. He is also a professor at Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland in Cambridge, Maryland and SIBER co-chair. His research is focused on ecosystem modeling, biological oceanography and biogeochemical modeling. He obtained his PhD at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD.
Professor Aaron Darling trained as a computer scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While hacking comparative genomics software for the first E. coli genome projects he discovered a love for the endless mysteries of microbiology and the challenges of interpreting microbial genome data. Following the completion of his Ph.D. work he studied microbial genome evolution at the University of Queensland and later at the University of California-Davis with Professor Jonathan Eisen.
During this time Aaron contributed to the development of several new metagenome analysis and phylogeny tools which will be applied to data generated by the Indigo V expedition. Aaron has recently moved to the University of Technology Sydney where he is an Associate Professor of bioinformatics in the ithree institute. See his lab website http://darlinglab.org for more information.
Dr. Martin is interested in the cycling of carbon and nutrient elements in the oceans, and in the impact of environmental changes on these processes. Currently, he’s a Research Fellow at Nanyang Technological University studying isotopes of boron and carbon in coral skeletons to reconstruct past seawater pH, which is important for an accurate understanding of the carbon cycle. He’s also interested in downward particle fluxes in the ocean, which are a critical but poorly understood sink in the global carbon cycle. Carbon cycling in the ocean is intimately linked to the cycling of nutrient elements. As such, his research is focused on the importance of phosphorus recycling, and the role of polyphosphates in marine phosphorus biogeochemistry. Moreover, he studies how the micronutrient iron affects the amount of the downward particle flux, and participated in the latest artificial open-ocean iron fertilisation experiment, LOHAFEX.
Dr Thomas Jeffries is a Microbial Ecologist with a wide range of expertise in molecular microbiology, bioinformatics and microbial biogeography.
He obtained his PhD. in 2012 from Flinders University (Adelaide Australia). During his doctoral work he used metagenomics to investigate shifts in microbial community gene abundance in response to salinity and nutrient gradients within a hypersaline lagoon (the Coorong, Australia). His work demonstrated the influence of environmental variables on the abundance of salinity tolerance and photosynthesis pathways in bacterial genomes on local scales. On global scales he demonstrated that bacterial genome content is broadly determined by the physical substrate type of the habitat. His postdoctoral research has focused on marine microbial biogeography, the microbiome of Sydney Harbour, The distribution of marine fungal diversity and the role of microscale interactions in structuring microbial communities.
Dr Jeffries has extensive experience in using bioinformatics and ecogenomic tools to understand microbial diversity.
Jacob Senstius is a Marine Geologist from Aarhus University, worked for some years as Marine Surveyor at DHI, Denmark. Later specialized in analyzing ship traffic through AIS data (Automatic Identification System) at Danish Maritime Administration.
Satellite based AIS observations from the Arctic regions has been in focus, the objective being to be able to support SAR (Search and Rescue) operations near Greenland. Has contributed to The ESRI Map Book on, Vol. 27 on Ship Traffic Patterns. Is currently working as GIS specialist at Danish Technical University.
Professor Jay T. Cullen took his BSc (Hon) in Biology from McGill University and PhD in Chemical Oceanography from Rutgers University. After a postdoctoral scholarship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with Dr. Jim Moffett he has been at the University of Victoria in BC, Canada where he is an Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences. He has helped to develop sensitive analytical techniques to measure trace metals in natural waters. Trace metals can be essential nutrients as cofactors in microbial enzymes or act as toxicants which disrupt critical cellular functions.
By helping to shape microbial community structure and control the rate of important biogeochemical processes like carbon and nitrogen fixation, trace metal bioavailability can modulate the air-sea transfer of climate active gases. The Cullen Lab aims to understand the function and fate of trace metals in the ocean. See the Cullen Lab website at: http://web.uvic.ca/~jcullen/
Professor Grzymski studied philosophy and biology at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. There, he fell in love with terrible weather and pale ale, which prompted a series of poor decisions that led to a life in academia. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Norway and did his graduate work in the laboratory of Oscar Schofield at Rutgers University.
He spent seven field seasons in Antarctica studying microbial adaptation to cold and phytoplankton physiology. He is a biophysicist, programmer, microbial ecologist and molecular biologist. His recent interest in microbial adaptation to oligotrophy (low nutrients like nitrate and iron) has parallels to Professor Lauro’s work on trophic strategy and must be why he was invited on this incredible journey – either that or because he specializes in cooking Italian food (specifically, the delicacies of Venice).
Dr. Ron Hoeke joined CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in October 2010. His research interests include the interaction of physics, geomorphology, and ecology in the coastal zone and how climate change may influence these factors and outcomes. Prior to joining CSIRO, Ron completed a masters degree in physical oceanography on barrier island inlet migration, at the Florida Institute of Technology in 2001. He then went on to work for a joint NOAA-University of Hawaii project to establish an inter-disciplinary coral reef monitoring program for all US-flagged islands in the Pacific. Concurrent with his work at NOAA, and through a NOAA, US Geological Survey and Australian Institute of Marine Science partnership, he completed work on a PhD at James Cook University in 2010.
Brett Neilan is Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales. He is a molecular biologist and an expert in the study of toxic algae. Today his research group at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), comprises more than thirty researchers, including eighteen graduate students. The main topic of their work is the genetics of blue-green algae and the research has led to an understanding of the biochemical pathways that are responsible for the production of toxins in our water supplies. He obtained his PhD in microbial and molecular biology from UNSW in 1995. Prior to his PhD training, Brett obtained a BAppSc degree in biomedical science (1985) at the University of Technology, Sydney, and then worked as a biochemical researcher, molecular geneticist and forensic biologist. His postdoctoral positions were a NASA fellowship at Stanford University and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship in Berlin.
Dr. Brown is a Senior Research Associate at the University of New South Wales. His research focuses on microbes (Bacteria, Archaea and microbial Eukaryotes), primarily from marine environments, and how they interact with each other and their environment to form communities that sustain critical ecosystem processes.
Marine microbes are intricately linked to global ecosystems. They perform ~50% of global primary production and mediate processes that drive coastal and open-ocean biogeochemical cycles, including the flux of particulate carbon to the deep ocean. These organisms thus control the fundamental energy base upon which all higher trophic levels depend and modulate the biological ocean carbon pump that helps regulate Earth’s climate.
Dr. Gayle Philip was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. She completed her university education in Ireland where she graduated with a PhD in computational biology from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. In search of warmer weather, Gayle moved to Hawaii and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the University of Hawaii (2007-2011).
There she analysed next generation sequence (NGS) data and was involved in publishing the first massively parallel survey of eukaryotes. She currently works at the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI) at the University of Melbourne and specialises in cancer genomics and transcriptomics.
Russell Neches is a UC Davis Microbiology doctoral candidate working with Jonathan Eisen to apply metagenomic methods to the movement ecology of microbes, using the halophilic archaea of the western United States as a model.
He is a principal investigator on Project MERCCURI, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation supported citizen science project to improve the characterization of the microbiota of “charismatic” elements of the built environment, including sports arenas, museums and the International Space Station. Designing and sharing Open Hardware devices has become an important part of Russell’s research, which is what brought him into this collaboration.
Professor Diane McDougald is a Visiting Senior Researcher at the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore as well as an Assistant Prof at the iThree Institute, Sydney Australia. Professor McDougald is a program leader at the CMB as well as a cluster leader for the Marine Health and Biotechnology Cluster in the Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Centre (AEBC), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
She has made significant contributions to the fields of Vibriobiology, bacterial adaptation to stress and mechanisms of molecular control of these responses, cell-to-cell communication, biofilm formation and interactions of bacteria with higher eukaryotes.