Confirmed invited speakers


Prof. Farooq Azam

Professor
University of California San Diego, USA

Short bio
Dr. Farooq Azam is Distinguished Professor of Microbial Oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. He and his students and postdocs have contributed to understanding of the role of microbes in the functioning of marine ecosystems and the ocean carbon cycle. He is studying microbial biogeochemistry at the nanometer to micrometer scale—the spatial scale of the individual microbe—in order to understand the underlying biochemical mechanisms; and then to learn how to extrapolate the mechanistic knowledge to the global ocean biogeochemical dynamics. His research is leading to the conceptualization of the pelagic ocean as a dynamic molecular continuum—a thin biofilm.

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Prof. Alan Decho

Professor
University of South Carolina, USA

Short bio
Alan Decho is Professor of Environmental Health Sciences in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina (USA). His Microbial Interactions Laboratory seeks to understand roles of the EPS matrix in biofilm processes in oceans, the environment and infections, with foci on quorum sensing, biogeomineral precipitation, and survival of desiccation. Through studies of natural microbial mats and laboratory cultures they have interests in isolating novel antibiotics and in engineering nanoparticles to more-efficiently deliver these antibiotics to biofilm infections. He has interests in applications of non-destructive spectroscopic approaches for studying in situ dynamics of the biofilms.

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Prof. Hans-Curt Flemming

Professor
University of Duisburg, Germany

Short bio
Born 1947 at the Lake Constance, studied Chemistry in Freiburg and Stuttgart, Ph. D. at the Max Planck Institute for Immunology in Freiburg. At the University of Stuttgart, he implemented the Biofilm Research group between 1986 and 1994, and then he went to the University of Munich to establish the Biotechnology group. In 1996 he got a position as chair for Aquatic Microbiology at the University of Duisburg-Essen. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of the IWW Water Centre in Mülheim. In 2000, he was co-founder of the interdisciplinary curriculum “Water Science”. Research focus: microbial biofilms. Since 2012, visiting professor at the Singapore Center for Life Science Engineering. HCF Published about 300 scientific papers & 10 books. Currently, he is the chairman of the BioCluster, a joint activity of the International Water Association (IWA) and the International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME).

 

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Prof. Kevin Foster

Professor
University of Oxford

Short bio
Kevin Foster is Professor of Evolutionary Biology in the Zoology Department at the University of Oxford. The Foster lab studies cooperation and competition in microbial groups. Microbes often live in large dense groups where one cell can strongly affect the survival and reproduction of others. But do microbes typically help or harm those around them, and how does this affect what microbes do to us? We study these questions using mathematical models, computer simulations and experimental work.

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Prof. Jean-Marc Ghigo

Professor
Institut Pasteur, France

Short bio
I am currently Professor and deputy director of the Department of Microbiology at the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. Although I trained to be a high school biology teacher, I somehow got sidetracked and, instead, started research and obtained my PhD in 1994 at the Institut Pasteur with Cécile Wandersman on bacterial protein secretion. In 1996 I joined the laboratory of Jon Beckwith at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, for a post doc. on Escherichia coli cell division. In 1999, I came back to the Institut Pasteur to develop an independent project addressing the following questions: how do bacteria form biofilms? And what particular properties emerge from bacterial biofilms? This led my laboratory to study various molecular aspects of the biofilm lifestyle, with the wild hope to uncover unsuspected biological resources used by commensal and pathogenic bacteria to operate within biofilm communities.

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Dr. Jan-Ulrich Kreft

Lecturer in Computational Biology
University of Birmingham, UK

Short bio
Jan-Ulrich Kreft is Lecturer in Computational Biology affiliated with the Centre for Systems Biology, the Institute of Microbiology and Infection, and the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham. Jan is broadly interested in the dynamics of interaction between individual microorganisms and how these interactions give rise to emergent behaviour on the next higher level of organisation (e.g. the population). Such interactions include competition, cooperation, communication, and plasmid transfer between microbes in chemostats and biofilms. To support this research, the Kreft lab, in collaboration with Barth Smets’ lab, has been developing software for individual-based modelling, called iDynoMiCS (see the post-conference workshop on this). Recently, we started developing software to enable scientists who are not programmers to use individual-based modelling for the gut, called eGUT for electronic gut: www.egut.org.uk.

 

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Dr. Thomas Neu

UFZ Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research

Short bio
JThe professional stages of Thomas R. Neu cover the Universities of Tübingen (DE), New South Wales (AU) and Groningen (NL). He then established the Group “Microbiology of Interfaces” at the Department of River Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ. His main research area is on structure-function studies of microbial communities associated with interfaces having different physicochemical properties. The expertise of the group comprises fluorescence techniques including advanced laser scanning microscopy (1-photon, 2-photon) and nanoscopy (GSDIM). A major focus is the assessment of the biofilm matrix by means of fluorescence lectin-binding analysis in response to environmental changes.

 

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Prof. William Sloan

University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

Short bio
Bill Sloan is Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Glasgow. His interest in biofilms stems from prosaic problems in drinking water supply and wastewater treatment. Bill’s tertiary education in mathematics, physical oceanography and environmental hydraulics allows him to bring a quantitative perspective to understanding biofilm assembly that blends physics with population biology.

 

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Prof. Roman Stocker

Associate Professor,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Civil and Environmental Engineering  

Short bio
Roman Stocker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT, where he heads the Environmental Microfluidics Group. Roman's research focuses on microscale biophysical processes in the environment, with a special interest in the ocean. His group develops original microfluidic technology and image analysis techniques to understand microbes in the context of their physical (e.g., flow), chemical (e.g., nutrients) and ecological (e.g., other organisms) landscape, by directly observing microbes and making them 'come to life' for the non-microscopist. This novel approach has resulted in a broad range of fundamental new insights on microbial dynamics, particularly motility and chemotaxis.

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Prof. Paul Stoodley

Professor
Ohio State University, USA | University of Southampton, UK

Short bio
Dr. Paul Stoodley is currently Professor in the departments of Microbial Infection and Immunity and Orthopaedics at The Ohio State University. He also holds an appointment at the University of Southampton in the UK as Professor of Microbial Tribology in the Department of Engineering Sciences. Dr. Stoodley has a broad research interest in bacterial biofilms, drawn from experience in medicine, engineering and basic microbiology. His specific research focus is on biofilms in orthopedic and other device related infections, control of dental biofilms and biofilm mechanics as a biofilm survival strategy.

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Dr. Paul Wilmes

ATTRACT Research Fellow
UNIVERSITY OF LUXEMBOURG

Short bio
Paul Wilmes is a Luxembourg National Research Fund ATTRACT Research Fellow at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine of the University of Luxembourg, where he heads the Eco-Systems Biology Group. Paul’s main research focus is on using Systems Biology approaches for unraveling fundamental ecological relationships within and between microbial populations in situ. His group has developed appropriate wet- and dry-lab methodologies for carrying out systematic molecular measurements of microbial consortia over space and time. This allows for example to define lifestyle strategies of distinct populations and link these to genetic and functional traits. The same approaches are allowing the study of microbiome-host molecular interactions.

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Biofilm 6 | Universitätsring 1  | 1010 Wien