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Alexander Probst


Ecosystem Health: From single cells to solar system scale

13 April 2023, 14:00-15:30 CET

The health of individual organisms, i.e. from single cells to humans, is closely entangled with the health of entire ecosystems. In this career talk, I will take you on a journey through my career, starting as a biologist at NASA and ending as a professor in the Research Center One Health Ruhr. I will cover aspects of single organism health in groundwater, adaptations of microbes to extrem conditions in deserts, and of shielding planets from external forms of life.

Alexander Probst was appointed the first Research Professor of the Research Center One Health Ruhr of the University Alliance Ruhr in 2022. After receiving excellent degrees in biology in 2010, he gained experience in the USA and earned his doctorate along the way. After scientific work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA and at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL, NASA) at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) , USA, he worked as a bioinformatician for several years at Second Genome Inc, USA. In 2014, he earned his PhD from the University of Regensburg, Germany, and joined Prof. Dr. Jill Banfield in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, in the same year. In 2017, he moved to the University of Duisburg-Essen with a prestigious grant for an own group, as Professor of Aquatic Microbial Ecology. In 2022, the call to the One Health Professorship in Environmental Metagenomics followed. He has received several awards for his research and is involved in numerous research projects.