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Travel Grant Benjamin Pontiller

Vigo Spain 2017-2018

Read about Ben's travel grant:

geneco TG BenP

Hello! My name is Benjamin Pontiller. I’m currently working on my PhD-thesis at the Linnaeus University in Kalmar (Sweden) and I enrolled at the GENECO Graduate Research School around 2 years ago. One project which is part of my PhD-thesis is a collaborative effort between the Linnaeus University and the University of Vigo (Spain).

In 2016, I was invited to join two research cruises in the North Atlantic Ocean, in the frame of ENVISION. The project aims to elucidate the role of B-vitamins in microbial plankton community structure, activity, and succession in a coastal upwelling system. A special focus of the project lies on the functional role of bacterioplankton during phytoplankton blooms, based on metatranscriptomics.

Thanks to the GENECO Travel Grant, I was able to visit my colleagues in Vigo in autumn 2017 and spring 2018 during a crucial period in data processing and collection. Given the large amount of sequencing data and the diversity of measured variables, we quickly realized the need of meeting in person for coordinating crucial steps in the analysis.

Taken together, the experiences I made, during the two cruises and the two rewarding guest visits in Vigo, contributed in developing my practical and theoretical skills. I learned how to carry out laboratory work onboard a research vessel and gained insight into logistical aspects of such a large-scale project. In particular, I appreciated the exchange of knowledge on data analysis and the opportunity to discuss and interpret our data face-to-face.

To conclude, I’m utterly grateful to the members of the steering committee, who are organizing fantastic GENECO events and for the extraordinary opportunity of receiving funding for my personal development.

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