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Thanassis Zervas

Ph.D., Postdoc

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Thanassis Zervas


  • Department of Environmental Science - Environmental Microbiology and Circular Resource Flow
Postal address:
Frederiksborgvej 399
7411, B2.21

Email: az@envs.au.dk

Mobile: +4552690625

Phone: +4552690625


I am interested in all aspects of high-throughput sequencing of environmental samples. As Dobzhansky said: "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution", I believe that DNA/RNA sequencing and subsequent analysis can shed light to evolution events, ranging from community structure evolution to the emergance of new functions or alteration of existing ones to accommodate emerging needs on a molecular level. I have invested a considerable amount of effort in understanding and using various high-throughput sequencing techniques (DNA/RNA) on different platforms (Illumina, PacBio, Nanopore) for a variety of organisms (viruses, prokaryotes, eukaryotes) to answer questions and give a molecular context to data resulting from other analyses (i.e. physiology, biochemistry etc.).

I am now focusing primarily on using and optimizing the TotalRNA metatranscriptomics approach on two main types of samples: 1) soil rhizosphere for the NNF INTERACT project and 2) glacier samples for the ERC DEEP PURPLE project. My goal is to establish a complete pipeline relying on Illumina sequencing for different samples and create and optimize a workflow relying on Nanopore sequencing.

Apart from my research I am a member of the Sequencing and Bioinformatics Facilities at our Department and my tasks include running and maintaning the sequencers, assisting in projects with collaborators and administrating the servers.



Department of Environmental Science - Environmental Microbiology and Circular Resource Flow

Aarhus University

Roskilde, Denmark

2 Jul 2018 → present

Research outputs

Comprehensive evaluation of different strategies to recover methanogenic performance in ammonia-stressed reactors

Yan, M., Zhu, X., Treu, L., Ravenni, G., Campanaro, S., Goonesekera, E. M., Ferrigno, R., Jacobsen, C. S., Zervas, A., Angelidaki, I. & Fotidis, I. A., Sep 2021, In: Bioresource Technology. 336, 125329.

Identification and Characterization of 33 Bacillus cereus sensu lato Isolates from Agricultural Fields from Eleven Widely Distributed Countries by Whole Genome Sequencing

Zervas, A., Aggerbeck, M. R., Allaga, H., Güzel, M., Hendriks, M., Jonuskiene, I., Kedves, O., Kupeli, A., Lamovsek, J., Mülner, P., Munday, D., Namli, S., Samut, H., Tomicic, R., Tomicic, Z., Yeni, F., Zribi Zghal, R., Zhao, X., Sanchis-Borja, V. & Hendriksen, N. B., Dec 2020, In: Microorganisms. 8, 12, 17 p., 2028.

Potential Rhodopsin- and Bacteriochlorophyll-Based Dual Phototrophy in a High Arctic Glacier

Zeng, Y., Chen, X., Madsen, A. M., Zervas, A., Nielsen, T. K., Andrei, A. S., Lund-Hansen, L. C., Liu, Y. & Hansen, L. H., Nov 2020, In: mBio. 11, 6, 8 p., e02641-20.

Serratia inhibens sp. nov., a new antifungal species isolated from potato (solanum tuberosum)

Hennessy, R. C., Dichmann, S. I., Martens, H. J., Zervas, A. & Stougaard, P., Jun 2020, In: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 70, 7, p. 4204-4211 8 p., 004270.

Complete Genome and Plasmid Sequences of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Serovar Enteritidis PT1, Obtained from the Salmonella Reference Laboratory at Public Health England, Colindale, United Kingdom

Anwar, M. Z., Zervas, A., Hansen, L. H., Barker, G., Anesio, A. M. & Jacobsen, C. S., 2020, In: Microbiology Resource Announcements. 9, 2, 2 p., e01064.

GC bias affects genomic and metagenomic reconstructions, underrepresenting GC-poor organisms

Browne, P. D., Nielsen, T. K., Kot, W., Aggerholm, A., Gilbert, M. T. P., Puetz, L., Rasmussen, M., Zervas, A. & Hansen, L. H., 2020, In: GigaScience. 9, 2, 14 p.

Isolation and characterisation of novel phages infecting Lactobacillus plantarum and proposal of a new genus, “Silenusvirus”

Kyrkou, I., Carstens, A. B., Ellegaard-Jensen, L., Kot, W., Zervas, A., Djurhuus, A. M., Neve, H., Franz, C. M. A. P., Hansen, M. & Hansen, L. H., 2020, In: Scientific Reports. 10, 1, 10 p., 8763.

Potential Rhodopsin and Bacteriochlorophyll-Based Dual Phototrophy in a High Arctic Glacier

Zeng, Y., Chen, X., Madsen, A. M., Zervas, A., Nielsen, T. K., Andrei, A-S., Lund-Hansen, L. C., Liu, Y. & Hansen, L. H., 2020, 19 p. (bioRxiv).

Genomics of Aerobic Photoheterotrophs in Wheat Phyllosphere Reveals Divergent Evolutionary Patterns of Photosynthetic Genes in Methylobacterium spp.

Zervas, T., Zeng, Y., Madsen, A-M. & Hansen, L. H., Oct 2019, In: Genome Biology and Evolution. 11, 10, p. 2895–2908 14 p.

Mycoheterotrophic Epirixanthes (Polygalaceae) has a typical angiosperm mitogenome but unorthodox plastid genomes

Petersen, G., Darby, H., Lam, VKY., Pedersen, H. Æ., Merckx, V. SFT., Zervas, A., Seberg, O. & Graham, S. W., Oct 2019, In: Annals of botany. 124, 5, p. 791-807 17 p.

Mitochondrial genome evolution in parasitic plants

Zervas, A., Petersen, G. & Seberg, O., 8 Apr 2019, In: BMC Evolutionary Biology. 19, 1, 14 p., 87.

Expanding the diversity of Myoviridae phages infecting Lactobacillus plantarum - a novel lineage of Lactobacillus phages comprising five new members

Kyrkou, I., Carstens, A. B., Ellegaard-Jensen, L., Kot, W., Zervas, A., Djurhuus, A. M., Neve, H., Hansen, M. & Hansen, L. H., 2019, In: Viruses. 11, 7, 20 p., 611.

Culturomics of Aerobic Anoxygenic Phototrophic Bacteria in Wheat Phyllosphere Revealed a Divergent Evolutionary Pattern of Photosynthesis Genes in Methylobacterium spp

Zervas, A., Zeng, Y., Madsen, A. M. & Hansen, L. H., 2018, In: bioRxiv. p. 488148 1 p.

Genome reports: Contracted genes and dwarfed plastome in mycoheterotrophic Sciaphila thaidanica (Triuridaceae, Pandanales)

Petersen, G., Zervas, A., Pedersen, H. Æ. & Seberg, O., 2018, In: Genome Biology and Evolution. 10, 3, p. 976-981 6 p.

The Evolution of Organellar Genomes in Parasitic and Mycoheterotrophic Plants

Zervas, A., 2018

Mitochondrial genome evolution in Alismatales: Size reduction and extensive loss of ribosomal protein genes

Petersen, G., Cuenca, A., Zervas, A., Ross, G. T., Graham, S. W., Barrett, C. F., Davis, J. I. & Seberg, O., 2017, In: PLOS ONE. 12, 5, p. e0177606

Forskellig sammensætning af bakterier og svampe i støv der udløser luftvejssyndromet ODTS og i referencestøv

Madsen, A. M., Zervas, A., Tendal, A. & Nielsen, J. L., 2016, In: Miljø og sundhed. 22, 1, p. 15-20 6 p.

Microbial diversity in bioaerosol samples causing ODTS compared to reference bioaerosol samples as measured using Illumina sequencing and MALDI-TOF

Madsen, A. M., Zervas, A., Tendal, K. & Nielsen, J. L., 2015, In: Environmental Research. 140, p. 255-267 13 p.

Exposure and preventive measure to reduce high and daily exposure to Bacillus thuringiensis in potted plant production

Madsen, A. M., Zervas, A., Tendal, K., Matthiesen, C. B., Koponen, I. K. & Hansen, E. W., 2014, In: Annals of Work Exposures and Health. 58, 6, p. 664-676 13 p.


Analysis of infidelity patterns of Reverse Transcriptase

Anwar, M. Z., Zervas, T., Hansen, L. H., Barker, G., Barbosa Anesio, A. M. & Jacobsen, C. S.


DEEP PURPLE: Darkening of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Zervas, T.

INTERACT: Decoding the Rhizobiota Interactome for Improved Crop Resilience (INTERACT)

Zervas, T.

eDNA Center - Applied molecular tools for environmental monitoring and research

Winding, A., Sapkota, R., Zervas, T., Hendriksen, N. B., Stougaard, P., Thøgersen, M. S., Barbosa Anesio, A. M., Zeng, Y., Johansen, A., Jacobsen, C. S., Ørby, P. V., Stæhr, P. A., Hansen, J. L. S., Jakobsen, H., Krause-Jensen, D., Krogh, P. H., Schmidt, N. M., Scheel, M., Andersen, L. W., Nicolaisen, M., Madsen, M. V., Santos, S., Kudjordjie, E. N. & Sikder, M. M.

01/01/2020 → …