I received PhD in Biotechnology from University of Helsinki, Finland. In my thesis I explored the application of molecular biology tools for monitoring hydrocarbon degradation during bioremediation processes. Afterwards, I spent three years studying microbial life in deep crystalline rocks to understand how taxonomic and functional diversity supports microbial life in deep subsurface and what implications this can have on the future exploitation of these environments. My work also included enzyme discovery for biofuel production using functional metagenomics.
Similar to my background, my research interests are also very applied. I’m interested in combining molecular microbial ecology to ecosystem responses in order to obtain better understanding how ecosystems function and how this information can be used to address environmental issues or to develop new, more efficient treatment processes.
In my current research I investigate how plant biomass decomposing microbial communities respond to global change in annual grassland. In particular, I focus on the development of functional screening tools that can be used for identification of known and novel degradation functions from microbial communities growing on decomposing plant litter. This functional information is then combined with taxonomic data and used to build predictive models of ecosystem responses to global change.