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Marie Curie Training Site for Marine Microbiology

Final Activity Report Summary - MARMIC EST (Marie Curie Training Site for Marine Microbiology)

The Marie Curie Early stage training (EST) site for marine microbiology (MARMIC) provided early stage researchers with a comprehensive training in marine microbiology.

The students learned to implement an interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of marine prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbiology, focussing on their biodiversity and function, as well as their interactions with physical and chemical processes in marine habitats. They were trained in different, yet interlinking, disciplines essential to the field of marine microbiology, such as physical and chemical oceanography, biogeochemistry, physiology, ecology, evolution, molecular biology, bioinformatics and other related subjects. In addition to the training in these scientific disciplines, the EST provided complementary training in soft skills such as communication and conflict resolution, presentation, self and time management, proposal writing, leadership and other important skills that were needed for a successful career. The MARMIC EST students learned to think globally and choose from both holistic and reductionistic research approaches. The breadth of theoretical and practical experiences was anticipated to enable the students to address questions ranging from biogeochemistry to bioenergetics, from genomic analysis to functional capability, or from single-cell interactions to behaviour in mixed communities.

The synergistic and interdisciplinary nature of the research that the EST students produced was visible in the topics and contents of their PhD theses. The topics ranged from molecular biology of pathogenic and symbiotic bacteria to the biogeochemistry of polysaccharides released by marine phytoplankton and bacteria. The composition of the members of the thesis committee of each EST student was well-balanced and chosen to represent a broad range of expertise and training. By encouraging and supporting this synergistic and interdisciplinary research, the EST students produced PhD theses of a richer and more comprehensive scientific quality.