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10 September: Postdoctoral award for former AIMS@JCU Student, Jean-Baptiste Raina

10 September: Postdoctoral award for former AIMS@JCU Student, Jean-Baptiste Raina


Jean-Baptiste Raina accepts the Tom Brock Award from ISME President Prof. Michael Wagner. Photo: ISME Office

10th September 2014

Microbial ecologist and former AIMS@JCU student Jean-Baptiste Raina was awarded the Tom Brock Postdoctoral Award for the most innovative research by an early career scientist at the 15th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME) in Seoul, South Korea recently. Jean-Baptiste successfully competed against more than 80 early career researchers from around the globe when he presented his PhD work on the role of DMSP in the coral holobiont. This work, conducted through AIMS in conjunction with James Cook University and the University of Western Australia, is the first of its kind and used advanced imaging techniques to follow the production of an important sulfur molecule called DMSP (Dimethylsulfoniopropionate) by algal cells and its subsequent uptake and metabolism by marine bacteria. This interaction between marine algae and bacteria result in the production of large amounts of climate-regulating molecules involved in cloud formation.

The biannual symposium is the largest conference for microbial ecology in the world. As a result of this award, Jean-Baptiste is now invited to join the newly created International Society for Microbial Ecology junior advisory board.

Now working at UTS, he continues to collaborate with AIMS scientists David Bourne and Cherie Motti on several projects.