Who we are
The ECB group studies how unicellular organisms grow and divide in their natural habitat.
In particular, we focus on bacteria that thrive on animal surfaces to identify conserved (1) molecular mechanisms of bacterial growth and division and (2) cellular and molecular mechanisms of establishment of animal-bacterium symbioses.
Our current study systems are marine nematode symbionts (Candidatus Thiosymbion) and oral cavity symbionts (Neisseriaceae).
Why/How are we going Green
For the last two decades, to collect the marine nematodes on which Candidatus Thiosymbion thrive, we have been regularly flying to the Caribbean Sea.
Considering that one round trip to our field means flying over half of our planet (19,300 km), each of our trips has been generating at least 3.2 tons of CO2 per year.
The recent addition of oral cavity symbionts to our study systems will allow us to reduce the number of journeys to remote destinations and - therefore - to starkly decrease our carbon footprint. Indeed, although the oral cavity symbionts share many ecological and cellular features with the yet uncultivable marine nematode symbionts, they can be easily reared in our laboratory.