HBCU-RISE Welcomes Dr. Despoina LymperopoulouHBCU-RISE Center for the Study of Microbial Ecology, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology and Water Quality in the Environmental Sciences Institute at Florida A&M University. Her research will focus on the ecology of predatory bacteria and bacterial communities in fresh and salt water aquatic systems. She will work primarily in the Gulf of Mexico on the microbial community project related to the Deep Horizon Oil Spill and to the training.of HBCU RISE students and staff.
Dr. Lymperopoulou completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Biology in the University of Athens (Greece). Her BS research study involved the analysis of the microbial community in an oily-sludge contaminated soil. Her MSc’s Thesis was conducted under the supervision of Prof. Liz Wellington in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Warwick (UK). She was granted a Research Fellowship by the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) for this project, which involved the study of the Phage growth limitation system (Pgl) of S. coelicolor against actino-phage ϕC31 in microcosm experiments. During her PhD Project she focused on ecogenomics and on the study of drinking water quality. Her two main PhD publications constitute the first reports on cyanobacterial and bacterial and archaeal phylotypes in natural populations from the Marathonas drinking water reservoir, which provides water to the capital and largest city of Greece, Athens. Her study also involved the development of culture-independent techniques for the detection of E.coli and othercoliform bacteria, Enterococcus sp. and Salmonella sp. directly in water samples and FISH protocols for the rapid recognition of different microbial groups.
Dr. Lymperopoulou’s experiences include involvement in European and national projects, such as the ACTAPHARM EU Project and PYTHAGORAS, which involved the design and the development of alternatives to 16S rRNA gene molecular markers for phylogenetic analysis.
Her research interests could be summarized as the investigation of patterns and processes that underpin the distribution and abundance of microorganisms in different habitats. The microbial community assemblage, the factors that define and maintain the community structure, their change over time, the spatial structure – community stability relation and the role of abiotic parameters in the regulation of ecosystem’s functioning are some of her quests in microbial ecology. Her interests includes food and water microbiology and standard applied microbiology coupled with molecular techniques, as the basis of any biotechnological outcome.
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