Dr. Paraskevi Mara is presently a teaching assistant with tenure at the University of Crete and an external research collaborator at the Hellenic Centre of Marine Research in Crete. She holds a PhD in Biogeochemistry from the University of Hamburg and MSc diplomas in Environmental Sciences (Department of Chemistry University of Crete) and Molecular Biology and Biomedicine (Department of Biology University of Crete, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas -FoRTH). Her research area is focused on molecular genetics, genomics and metatransciptomics of microorganisms and especially yeast, marine fungi and bacteria. As a Fulbright Scholar she will conduct physiological assays on a collection of cultured marine fungal isolates that have been obtained from the deep oceanic crust during the International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 360 at the Atlantis Bank in the Indian Ocean. This will include total RNA isolation from cultures that are grown on different carbon sources thought to be present in the deep oceanic crust and from cultures grown in the presence of competitors for gene expression analysis to gain understanding of metabolic strategies used by in situ microorganisms for survival in this deep biosphere habitat. Dr. Mara’s plans aim to establish a collaborative network that will transfer knowledge on high-throughput isolation methods employed using culturomics and new bioinformatics pipelines for transcriptome and metabolic pathway analyses and microbial diversity. This should lead to selecting potential gene candidates for use in applied biotechnology.
University of Crete, Heraklion
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts