I am interested in understanding the evolutionary forces that drive organisms to form symbiotic relationships, and the evolutionary processes that tip the fine balance between neutral or mutually beneficial relationships to parasitism.
I have a PhD (thesis examined June 2017) from Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University (Sweden), where my research was about symbiotic fungi called lichens. Prior to this, I received my bachelor studies in biology and have a Master's degree in biodiversity, taxonomy and conservation from the Biology Faculty, Bucharest University (Romania). I also have a Master in Systematics Biology from Uppsala University.
In the Burki Lab, I am a Postdoctoral researcher working with Ascetosporea. This group of parasitic microbial eukaryotes infects aquatic invertebrates (e.g. crabs, oysters, mussels). Although these parasites have a high economic impact on shellfish aquacultures, the most fundamental knowledge about their biology is lacking. To fill this gap, I will obtain and use genomic and transcriptomic data to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships of the group, and to understand the transitions from free-living to parasitic life-styles.
In my free time I love to instruct karate with my husband in our martial art club, have long walks with my dog, grow my own spices and tomatoes, travel, run, swim and eat good food.