Doctor of Philosophy
Environmental Microbiology / Virology
My thesis focuses on exploring giant viruses infecting protists. These viruses are more complex than many cellular life forms and are highly abundant in aquatic environment. This makes them interesting from an evolutionary and ecological standpoint.
My research aims to broaden the scope of what we consider microbial life, as giant viruses show higher complexity than many cellular life forms. Genome evolution of these viruses is of great interest to me. Further, my research aims to explore the role that giant viruses play in aquatic ecosystems.
UBC offers a strong network in microbial ecology and evolution (spread over several departments) in combination with great recreational opportunities.
I did an internship/exchange program at UBC in the Microbiology and Immunology department during my master's degree, so I had some idea what I was getting into.
Research for a graduate degree gives me the freedom to pursue projects that I am interested in and otherwise would not have been able to work on.
When I am not working, I am out enjoying the great outdoors of British Columbia. Luckily, my project also includes some field work, so I occasionally do get to go out in the name of science.