Advisory Board Members

The Advisory Board of the MicroB3 project was approved in 2011. The Advisory Board is an international network of six experts in their fields, who have agreed to give the MicroB3 project meaningful help in many different areas, including organizational development, technology, policy, and outreach.

Ian Joint is a microbiologist with interests in understanding how microbes interact to control the fundamental biogeochemical cycles that maintain the health of the oceans. Recent research has included elucidating the mechanisms involved in cross-kingdom cell-to-cell signaling between bacteria and eukaryotes: the effect of ocean acidification on marine phytoplankton and bacteria: and an assessment of bacterial diversity in temperate waters utilizing high-throughput DNA sequencing techniques. These recent studies, in collaboration with Jack Gilbert (now at Argonne National Laboratory, USA) and Dawn Field (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK) used 16S tag-sequencing approaches to demonstrate that there are about 20,000 bacterial species in every 10 litres of surface seawater. A six-year time series showed distinct and repeatable seasonal patterns in abundance, raising interesting questions about what constitutes a bacterial community in the sea. He has led several large NERC-funded projects in the UK and currently holds an emeritus position at the Plymouth Laboratory of the Marine Biological Association of the UK.

In Micro B3 he will give advice on Metagenomics, sequence data annotation and large scale data integration.

Marine Biological Association of the UK

Jerome H. Reichman is Bunyan S. Womble Professor of Law at Duke Law School. He has written and lectured widely on diverse aspects of intellectual property law, including comparative and international intellectual property law and the connections between intellectual property and international trade law. His articles in this area have particularly addressed the problems that developing countries face in implementing the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). Recent writings have focused on intellectual property rights in data; the appropriate contractual regime for online delivery of computer programs and other information goods. Professor Reichman serves as special advisor to the United States National Academies and the International Council for Science (ICSU) on the subject of legal protection for databases.
Source: Duke Law Faculty Homepage

In Micro B3 he will act as our adviser for the Intellectual Property Management workpackage.

Duke University School of Law

Linda Amaral Zettler explores patterns of microbial diversity and adaptation in extreme and marine environments. Current research objectives include understanding the environmental factors that help shape microbial community structure at the three-domain level and below. One of her long-term field sites focusing on Astrobiology  research includes the acidic, heavy-metal laden Río Tinto (southwestern Spain)- a terrestrial analog for Mars. Her NSF Biodiversity Survey and Inventories project called MIRADA LTERs also explores three-domain diversity, but at a much larger scale in a biogeographic study that involves Microbial Inventory Research Across 13 Diverse Aquatic LTER sites.
A second research theme explores the presence and persistence of human pathogens in the marine environment with an emphasis on the role of marine amoebae as vectors for emerging diseases as part of the Woods Hole Centers for Oceans Health. This research involves field work in Mount Hope Bay, MA and Lake Pontchartrain, LA.
She also serve as the Secretariat and education and outreach leader for the International Census of Marine Microbes- one of 14 ocean realm projects in the Census of Marine Life in an international effort to census microbial life in the ocean.
Source: Amaral Zettler Laboratory

In Micro B3 she will be our MIRADA-LTERs liaison on standards, training and large-scale integrated ecosystems biology and modelling.

Josephine Bay Paul Center, Marine Biological Laboratory/Brown University

Prokaryotes represent the earliest forms of life on Earth. They include the Bacteria, a few of which are important pathogens and the Archaea, which inhabit some of the most extreme environments on our planet. Our research focuses on several aspects of microbiology:

  1. The microbial biodiversity found in these environments, namely hydrothermal, hypersaline environments, alkaline springs and deserts.
  2. We investigate mechanisms that allow microbes to thrive under harsh conditions, namely the biosynthesis and accumulation of specific “stress” molecules known as compatible solutes. We develop cell systems for the production of these solutes due to their importance in biotechnology.
  3. We examine polysaccharide biogenesis and rare glycolipid assembly in the medically important genera Mycobacterium and in the antibiotic producers Streptomyces. These unique structures and their biosynthesis are potential targets for new anti-mycobacterial therapies.

Source: Homepage of the Microbiology and Extreme Environments Group

in Micro B3 he will give advice on biodiversity of extremophiles and bioinformatics as the basis for bioprospecting and biotechnology

University of Coimbra

Rolf Apweiler is a senior scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory - European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and joint head of the Protein And Nucleic Acids (PANDA).  The PANDA group is involved in several international collaborations like the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) Proteomics Standards Initiative. Rolf Apweiler is a member of the Nomenclature Committee of IUBMB, the FlyBase advisory board, the committee of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) and the advisory board of the Human Proteome Resource (HPR). He has been working on the Swiss-Prot protein sequence database since 1987, and in 1994 he became leader of the Swiss-Prot group.
Source: Wikipedia

In Micro B3 he will give advice on bioinformatic developments with a focus on the European Life Sciences Infrastructure For Biological Information - ELIXIR.


Éamonn Ó Tuama is a Senior Programme Officer at the GBIF Secretariat in Copenhagen dealing with data integration and interoperability issues for biodiversity data. He has a background in marine science, holding a Ph.D. in Zoology from the National University of Ireland, and several years experience in teaching and research. Among positions held were Manager of the Computers in Teaching Initiative Centre for Biology at University of Liverpool, a national centre promoting the use of information and communication technologies in teaching throughout the higher education sector in the U.K. Prior to joining GBIF, he worked as a senior scientist at the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre, University College Cork, on INSPIRE related EU (GMES) and nationally funded projects relating to harmonisation and integration of marine data. He was a member of the Irish Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) work group charged with developing a policy document on an SDI for Ireland. His interests include: information standards; data integration; interoperability; metadata; geospatial web services; knowledge organisation systems.

In Micro B3 he will provide advice on the standards and interoperability and be our link to GBIF

Global Biodiversity Information Facility - GBIF

Research interests:
Effects of climate scenarios, ocean acidification, hypoxia on marine animals and ecosystems:

  1. Physiological, biochemical and molecular mechanisms limiting tolerance and biogeography in invertebrates and fish. Cellular and whole animal energy budgets in various climate regimes. Molecular mechanisms of adaptation and limitation.
  2. The concept of oxygen and capacity limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) as a matrix integrating temperature, oxygen and CO2 effects on marine animals and ecosystems,
  3. Roles of climate oscillations in evolutionary history

In Micro B3 Hans Pörtner will be our liasion to the ESFRI project EMBRC (European Marine Biological Resource Center).

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research

Alex Hardisty is Director of Informatics Projects in the School of Computer Science and Informatics at Cardiff University. He is a Chartered Information Systems Professional Fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS) and a Member of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). His current interests span applications of computing to problems in biodiversity informatics, including the engineering of large-scale distributed computing systems (e-Infrastructures) and the socio-technical issues of new technology adoption.

Alex coordinates the Biodiversity Virtual e‑Laboratory (BioVeL) project and leads work packages in two other projects concerned with developing research infrastructures: the Common Operations of Environmental Research Infrastructures (ENVRI) project and the Coordination of Research e‑Infrastructures Activities Toward an International Virtual Environment for Biodiversity (CReATIVE-B) project. All 3 projects are funded by EC FP7.

In the ESFRI LifeWatch preparatory project, he has been responsible for determining and planning the technical strategy of LifeWatch to engineer an infrastructure for biodiversity research that is fit for scientific purpose, open and based on widely available industry standards. He continues to advise the LifeWatch start-up countries. Alex is also chair of the Design Team for the 4D4Life project, putting the Species2000/ITIS Catalogue of Life onto a sustainable e-Infrastructure footing.

Alex is formerly a member of the UK’s JISC Committee for the Support of Research (JSR) and past-Chair of the Steering Committee for the Community Engagement and Support strand of the JISC e-Infrastructure programme. From 2002 – 2009 he was manager of the Welsh e-Science Centre at Cardiff University, where he helped establish the University’s Advanced Research Computing division. Prior to joining Cardiff University, Alex held positions at Ubiquity Software Corporation (now part of Avaya), PQM Consultants, Mitel Corporation and Ferranti Computer Systems, gaining extensive industrial experience of product development, software and systems engineering, international standardisation, consulting and management work in real-time computing systems.

In Micro B3 Alex Hardisty will give advice on e-Science environments and will be our liaison to the BioVeL project ( and the ESFRI LifeWatch programme ( 



Cardiff University