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Emese Bartha

Emese BarthaA picture of Emese Bartha



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I completed my BSc in Biology at the University of Szeged in 2016 where I started to work in the field of microbiology. I constructed transformation vectors to study the pathogenicity of an opportunistic human pathogenic fungus. In 2017, I finished an MSc degree in Tropical Marine Biology at the University of Essex. The subject of my thesis consisted of exposing a low-salt tolerant halophilic archaeon to different salinities and identifying potential genes related to osmoadaptation. I also concluded sampling from salt marsh environments, with an aim of identifying new species of haloarchaea. I am highly interested in extremophile microorganisms and what role do they have in various habitats on Earth. I have worked with halophiles so far, however, I would like to expand this research experience to extremophiles such as piezophiles, thermophiles, acidophiles or also polyextremophiles.

I have experience in field sampling, laboratory work (molecular biological and microbiological) and statistical analysis using R software.

Combining the knowledge I gained through my degrees, my main future aim is to improve my skills and do research in the field of marine microbiology and how is this affected by today’s environmental changes.


Current Research

Extremophiles in benign environments: insights into the distribution and function of microorganisms


Microbial life is nearly ubiquitous on Earth, where water activity is the ultimate factor limiting biotic activity. Archaea and Bacteria are found in the harshest habitats where they have to cope with extreme conditions, forcing them to possess a unique adaptation to such environments. However, extremophiles were found in non-extreme environments which leads us to the question of ‘How are they capable of living there? What role do they have? Why are there they?’ For my PhD, I will address these questions and determine the abundance of extremophiles in benign and extreme environments and compare the physiological breadth of organisms found in both habitats. The research will include field sampling, laboratory work and analysing microbial cultures using molecular and computational approaches.


Supervisory Team and Research Group

Ecology and Environmental Microbiology Group

Dr Etienne Low-Decarie

Dr Terry McGenity  


Other relevant activities

I did volunteering for three weeks in the Philippines with the French NGO called People And The Sea. It was part of my MSc degree as a self-organised experience related to marine conservation. Scientific diving surveys were conducted on various locations around a tropical island, where the distribution of hard and soft corals, invertebrates and fish were determined, comparing the state of the reefs to previous years and assessing the anthropogenic impacts of the locals and tourists.