FEMS Microbiology Ecology Best Poster Award: Aleksandra Woltynska

We send our congratulations to Aleksandra Woltynska, who won the Best Poster Award at the 9th International Conference on Polar and Alpine Microbiology. This award sponsored by our journal FEMS Microbiology Ecology

The 9th International Conference on Polar and Alpine Microbiology took place on the 9-14 October 2022 in Germany. FEMS Microbiology Ecology invites participants to submit manuscripts that include work presented at this conference to a Thematic  Issue on Polar and Alpine Microbiology (details are available here). Target submission deadline 31 Jan 2023.

Read our interview with Aleksandra about her research below:


What is your current position, and what was your scientific journey to get there?

Currently, I am finishing my PhD at the Department of Antarctic Biology at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, which focuses on the microbiome of Antarctic lichens. Before, I got my bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Lodz (Poland), where I was involved in projects regarding bacterial lipopolysaccharides, as well as the effect of subinhibitory concentrations of ciprofloxacin on Proteus sp.”

FEMS Microbiology Ecology Editor-in-Chief Max Haggblom (left) handing the best poster award certificate to Aleksandra Woltyńska (right)


Could you describe the research your talk covered?

In my poster I was able to present preliminary results regarding the difference in the microbial diversity between the active and total fraction of the lichen-associated bacterial community based on 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing data of gDNA and cDNA in a trophic gradient (a comparison of a nutrient-rich and nutrient-depleted area). With the recent redefinition of what constitutes a lichen, expanding the description with a complex lichen microbiome, these results could give us an insight into the ways that the bacterial component may contribute to the lichen symbiosis and assist in the colonization of new, barren territories, such as glacier forefields and nunataks.”


What do you hope to focus your research on in the future?

I would love to continue my research on the bacterial communities residing in polar environments and possibly compare the lichen microbiome and its input into the lichen symbiosis between the poles. As part of my PhD, I had the pleasure to be part of the 46th Polish Antarctic Expedition and visit the H. Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station on King George Island, Maritime Antarctica. This gave me the unique opportunity to witness this amazing environment and motivated me to further my scientific career in polar sciences, especially with the threat of the effects of global warming upon these regions.”


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