The UniEuk Steering Committee is the decision-making body of the project. It includes a Director and an co-Director acting as the main contact points for communication purposes, and is composed of members with complementary expertise on protist taxonomy, ecology, and evolution, and reference gene sequence databases. In case of conflict it has final say on decisions by majority vote.
Roles of the SC:
Colomban is a franco-swiss oceanographer, fascinated by the co-evolution between eukaryotic Life and the Earth system. He is leading the EPEP – Evolution des Protistes et des Ecosystèmes Pélagiques– team within the ‘Groupe Plancton’ at the ‘Station Biologique de Roscoff,’ CNRS, France. Obsessed by the dramatic diversification of forms and cell complexity in protists, Colomban has coordinated international efforts to unveil the biodiversity (e.g. BioMarKs, http://www.biomarks.eu/), taxonomy (UniEuk, https://unieuk.net/), and ecosystem functions (Tara Oceans / Oceanomics; http://www.oceanomics.eu/; Plankton Planet; http://planktonplanet.org/), of marine protists across global organismic and spatio-temporal scales, including paleo-oceans. Currently pushing the development of automated, high-content microscopy and single-cell –omics technologies for aquatic ecology, Colomban believes that protists and plankton are exceptional models to understand self-organisation of complex adaptive systems.
Pelin is a post doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen. Her research interest are biocuration, phylogeny and taxonomy of Bacteria and Archaea, and lastly combining the former two to understand diversity and structure of microbial communities in marine habitats. Since 2009, she has assumed the role of lead curator for the SILVA ribosomal RNA databases. More recently, she has been active in developing hypothesis-specific reference ribosomal RNA datasets, with tailored phylogeny and taxonomy, in order to help answer questions on ecology and function of specific bacterial and archaeal taxa. While her original environment of interest was the marine water column, and its bacterial and archaeal community, she has diversified her interests to bacterial phyla dominant in soils, biofilm-dwelling Cyanobacteria, and even to fungal biodiversity.
Frank Oliver is Professor of Bioinformatics at Jacobs University and head of Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany. His group develops enabling technologies to transform the wealth of sequence- and environmental data into biological knowledge (www.microbial-genomics.de). His group is operating the European ribosomal RNA database SILVA providing high quality data products and services for the academia and industry (www.arb-silva.de).
Guy is the head of the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) and leads the Data Coordination and Archiving team at the EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). He received his PhD in cancer cell and molecular biology from the University of East Anglia in 1999 and carried out post-doctoral work in the molecular biology of photoreception at Cambridge University prior to joining EMBL-EBI in 2002. His team operates in the area of biological data coordination, archiving and management with two core programmes of activity: Data coordination and management for collaborative projects and the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA; http://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena), the database of record for nucleotide sequence data and member of the International Nucleotide Sequencing Database Collaboration. Team activities span content curation, data marshalling, training, helpdesk, standards development, the provision of data hubs and portals and the translation of bioinformatics infrastructure to user communities. In addition he contributes editorial work to a number of journals and meetings and has been involved in standardisation activities in many areas of bioinformatics.
Ginny is an Associate Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She is interested in the microbial ecology of oxygen-depleted marine water columns and sediments. Her current research employs culture-, microscopy- and ‘meta-omics’-based approaches and focuses on several themes: protist-bacterial/archaeal symbioses in low oxygen/anoxic habitats; responses of marine communities, including protists, to oxygen-minimum zone expansion; microbial ecology of the deep biosphere; and development of new methods for genetic manipulation of protists to better understand the roles of genes of unknown function.
Eunsoo is an Assistant Curator and Assistant Professor at the American Museum of Natural History. Her research centers around the evolution, diversity, and symbiosis of single-celled eukaryotic flagellates. She is particularly interested in the origin of eukaryotic photosynthesis by the process of endosymbiosis between two distinct microorganisms. Her approaches include cell isolation and culture, fluorescence and electron microscopy, environmental sequencing, and genome/transcriptome sequencing.
Javier is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia. He is interested in the ecology and the phylogenetic diversity of protists. Current research is mainly devoted to the analysis of the diversity and distribution of host associated microbial eukaryotes using high-throughput sequencing metabarcoding and the study of apicomplexans parasites.
Stefan is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and the Wageningen University and Research . He studies the phylogenetic diversity of soil and rhizosphere protists using a range of techniques ranging from cultivation- to high.throughput sequencing- based approaches. Furthermore, he is investigating the functional importance of protists in the soil food web in ecological studies.
Juliet is a research phycologist at the Natural History Museum specializing in genomic approaches to macroalgae and microbiomes, seaweeds in a time of rapid environmental change, and taxonomy, phylogenetics and conservation of algae. She is a leading authority on the Bangiales, a cosmopolitan order of red seaweeds including nori and laver. Current research also addresses the impact of ocean acidification on calcified red algae and the effects of climate change on large brown habitat-forming seaweeds. She has contributed to Government initiatives such as the Scientific Advisory Panel for Marine Conservation Zones, and was a Biological Sciences panel member for the latest Research Excellence Framework for assessing research in all UK Higher Education Institutes. She has over 25 years of Council experience for Societies, was President of the British Phycological Society and the Systematics Association and is currently Overseas Vice-President of the Phycological Society of America and President-Elect of the International Phycological Society.