Christina Karmisholt Overgaard
I am a guest PhD student from Denmark joining the Burki lab in order to learn more about the eukaryotic diversity in soil. I am here to establish an ecosystem-specific database for soil eukaryotes in order to hopefully increase taxonomic classification of these in soil samples. This is a completely new world to me as my PhD project mainly resolves around the prokaryotic diversity in soil. My PhD project focus on the symbiosis between certain soil bacteria called plant growth-promoting bacteria, PGPB, as these bacteria are able to increase nutrient uptake in certain plant species. If we are able to understand this interaction, we can hopefully at some point use the natural sources within soil, the PGPB, to increase nutrient uptake and decrease the use of chemical fertilizers that are damaging our ecosystems. However, in order to be able to utilize these bacteria we need to be able to properly identify them. I have, therefore, created and prokaryotic ecosystem-specific database which increased the taxonomic classification at genus and species level. I hope to also do this for the eukaryotic fraction of the soil microorganisms as these also play an important part of nutrient uptake for plants.
I received both my bachelor degree (2014-2017) and master’s degree (2017-2019) from Aalborg University, Denmark, where after I started my PhD in the fall of 2019 also at Aalborg University at the Center for Microbial communities.