Alexandra Hillebrand-Voiculescu

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Movile Protists (Movile Cave)

Dr. Alexandra Hillebrand-Voiculescu; Emil Racoviţă Institute of Speleology, Romanian Academy – Bucharest, Romania

Host: Dr. Purificación López-García;
          Unity of Ecology, Systematics and Evolution (ESE, CNRS UMR8079), Paris-Sud University – Orsay, France
Period: November, the 14th to 22nd, 2015;

As a biochemist, working in Bucharest (Romania) as a senior researcher at the Emil Racoviţă Institute of Speleology of the Romanian Academy (ERIS) and also as member of the Group for Underwater and Speleological Exploration – an environmental ngo – my main scientific interest is focused on underground and aquatic ecosystems.
Presently, I am studying the microbial communities entrapped in the ice block of the underground glacier of Scărişoara Ice Cave as well as the microbiota of Movile Cave, a chemosynthesis based ecosystem. It is this ecosystem that made the subject of the STSM entitled Movile Protists (November, the 14th to 22nd), that initiated a collaboration between ERIS and the Unity of Ecology, Systematics and Evolution (ESE, CNRS UMR8079) at the Paris-Sud University (Orsay, France) represented by Dr. Purificación López-García.
Since among the micro fauna of Movile Cave, protists have been largely neglected since the cave discovery back in 1986, we decided to start investigating them. For this purpose, during the STSM, DNA was isolated from microbial biofilm, water and sediment samples collected from Movile Cave and specific 18S rRNA sequences were amplified by PCR. Cultures were set by inoculating cave water with sediment and biofilm. Microscopic analysis of the samples was also performed. Promising results were obtained that opened new directions of research, enabling us to continue this collaboration.

 
 

CSO Approval date: 14/11/2013
Starting date: 15/05/2014
Ending date: 14/05/2018

Action Chair:
Dr. Muriel GARGAUD (FR)

Vice chair:
Prof. Wolf GEPPERT (SE)

STSM Manager:
Prof. Nigel MASON (UK)

Web Manager:
Prof. Elias CHATZITHEODORIDIS (GR)

Secretary:
Dr. Zuzana KANUCHOVA

 

Grant Holder Financial Representative:

Mrs Annick Caperan

Science Officer:
Dr. Mafalda QUINTAS

Administrative Officer:
Ms Aranzazu SANCHEZ

 

ORIGINS TD1308

A Trans-Domain Action supported by COST.

COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020

 

 

Involved countries

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of Member Countries

Participating Countries
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

COST International Partner Countries
Canada (UQAM), South Africa (Univ. of Johanesburgh), Russian Federation (Institute of Geology, Petrozavodsk), Australia (University of Sydney), United States of America (University of Hawai)

Specific Organisations
European Space Agency (ESA)

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)

Aiming at fostering collaboration, sharing new techniques, and infrastructure that may not be available in other participants' institutions or laboratories. STSMs are intended especially for young PhD researchers, but they are open to senior researchers as well. View the documents at this link.

 It should be explicitely noted that Master students are not eligible for STSMs which are for PhD students and more experienced researchers.

The life-Origins COST Project


Life-ORIGINS (TD1308) is a Trans Domain European COST Action dedicated to the scientific investigation of the origins and evolution of life on Earth and habitability of other planets.

The Action has specifically excluded the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life in its portfolio. Creationist theorems are also outside the Action’s remit.

Individuals are not allowed to use the name of the Action, its logo or any corporate identity of COST TD1308 in any communication without prior approval of the Management Committee.

All publications referencing the support of the Action should be sent to the appropriate Working Group chair at the time of submission.