Department of Biology

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Tina Santl-Temkiv

Assistant Professor

Tina Santl-Temkiv
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I am an environmental microbiologist with a focus on atmospheric microorganisms and their diverse environmental impacts. To address these complex issues, I use a cross disciplinary approach in collaboration with atmospheric scientists, engineers, molecular microbiologists, surface chemists, meteorologists and modelers. My methods combine field studies, laboratory simulations, molecular and sequencing approaches.

Research topics:

  • Aero-microbiology (atmospheric microbiology)
  • Microbial ice nucleation
  • Microbial airborne dispersal (pathogen airborne dispersal)
  • Biogeography
  • Polar regions

My key research interests: 

  • The diversity, sources, activity and ice-nucleation activity of atmospheric and polar microorganisms
  • The impact of microorganisms on atmospheric processes
  • Methods for simulating atmospheric conditions in the laboratory and for sampling airborne microorganisms
  • Polar microbiology: coupling between marine, terrestrial and atmospheric environments.

Ongoing research projects

Deciphering the role of sea-ice microorganisms on cloud processes in the Arctic

This Villum experiment project, funded by the Villum foundation, investigates the hypothesis that sea ice selectivelyincorporates microorganisms with ice-binding properties, including ice nucleating microorganismsthat, which have a role in the Arctic cloud processes.

The Impact of Microbial Marine Emissions on the Arctic Clouds (MIMOSA)

The aim of this project, funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark (IRFD) is to develop bioinformatic tools to search for sequences of genes encoding ice-nucleating proteins in marine samples by both mining sequences available in databases and by sequencing new samples.

The Effects of Ice Nucleation Proteins on Arctic Clouds (ICARUS)

The aim of this project, funded by the Villum foundation, is to establish an interdisciplinary group spanning complementing fields and expertise, in order to (i) determine the major source environments for atmospheric ice-nucleation proteins (INpro) in the Arctic;(ii) identify and quantify key microorganisms that produce INpro;(iii) provide mechanistic understanding of INpro through nucleation modelling; and (iv) ensure that ICARUS data are introduced into climate models, thereby both improvingmodel reliability and clarifying the role of bioaerosols for cloud formation in the Arctic.

Deciphering the Role of Atmospheric Microbial Aerosols (DRAMA)

This project, funded by the Novo Nordisk foundation, aims at combining laboratory simulations studies with in situ and modeling studies to determine the level of cellular activity while microbial cells are airborne and to obtain a mechanistic understanding of the interaction between cells and their highly dynamic transient environment.

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