Doctoral candidates

DC1 Alessandro CuzzEri


Host institution: University of Innsbruck

Project title: The ecological role of bioaerosols on glacial habitats  

Background and research interests: Being very passionate about mountains and all the activities they have to offer, from climbing to ski touring, finding my own way in scientific research came as a very smooth and almost natural process, which I feel could hardly have gone down a different route. I have a Master’s degree in Sciences and Technologies for the Environment and the Territory, obtained at University of Milano-Bicocca, and, for both my bachelor and master thesis, I was lucky enough to work with projects which were always related, one way or the other, to those kinds of environments. This helped me immensely with gaining solid knowledge, both theoretical and practical, in terms of handling and analysis of glacial meltwater samples in search for contaminants, the elaboration of a proposal for a new assessment method for the toxicity of various classes of pesticides towards freshwater communities, and in glacial microbiology, in particular regarding the incredible micro-habitats represented by cryoconite holes. While sheer passion provides for a sturdy foundation for my research interest, ascertaining how they are put under pressure by the changing climate creates a certain sense of urgency towards better comprehending how these fragile ecosystems work and evolve, in an effort to delineate future scenarios which both man and biodiversity, which populates these otherworldly habitats, will have to confront.


Host institution: Ecole Centrale de Lyon

Project title:   Microbial inputs to glaciers via snow deposition and their microbial selection processes at glacier surfaces

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Host institution: Aarhus University

Project title:  Fluxes and flows of microbial biomass and carbon through surface glacial habitats

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Host institution: Aarhus University

Project title:  Metatranscriptomics distribution within the glacier biome

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Host institution: German Research Centre for Geosciences

Project title:  Metabolic pathways in surface and subglacial habitats

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Host institution: Aarhus University

Project title:  Glacial flour, grinding and nutrient release

Background and research interests: Background and research interests: I'm a marine environmental scientist and in May 2023 I started my PhD at Aarhus University in Denmark. My contribution to IceBio will be research on nutrients and glacial flour. In my project I will be studying the release of organic and inorganic nutrients and energy sources from crushed bedrock - so of all the IceBio PhD candidates, I'm the one looking at the bottom of glaciers and studying subglacial processes. My enthusiasm for the Arctic has accompanied me for a long time and after two ship expeditions towards Fram Strait and a university course on Spitsbergen, it was quite clear to me that I want to continue working in Arctic research. That's why I'm looking forward to be part of the IceBio-team exploring the glacier biome and thus extend my research experience!


Host institution: German Research Centre for Geosciences

Project title:  Development of in situ ammonia and phosphate sensors for biogeochemical analyses of glacial meltwaters

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Host institution: The Arctic University of Norway

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Host institution: Hydreka

Project title: Molecular and community response to glacial flour and impact on N-cycling

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DC10 umberto galdiero

Host institution: Dr. Brill + partner GmbH

Project title:  Pathogens in glacial environments of the European Alps

Background and research interests:  Hi I'm Umberto Galdiero I recently graduated in Medical Biotechnology at the Universityof Naples Federico II. As a scientist the focus of my research has always been microbiology and studying how microorganisms interact with man and the environment is something really fascinating. I recently started my PhD at Dr Brill +Partner Institute in Bremen. In this project I have the role to assess the risk regarding pathogens that are associated with the glacier biome and to find pathogenic or benign bacteria with special characteristics. I've always loved microbiology and I think it's something that is constantly changing, there's always something new to learn. I hope this project will bring me many new experiences.

DC11 julien cergneux

Host institution: École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

Project title: Unravelling impacts of glacier dynamics on the microbial life in glacier-fed streams of the Pami

Background and research interests: I studied biology in Lausanne, with my Master’s project on synthetic bacterial biofilms. However, my passion for the mountains and spending time in nature led me to explore the potential of investigating biofilms and microbial life in glacier environments. Considering the alarming pace at which glaciers are melting, it is of utmost importance to investigate the microbial communities present in these environments before they are irretrievably lost. My research interests focus on understanding the response of microbial communities in glacier environments to climate change and how they contribute to broader ecological systems.