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Email:

jdelcampo@rsmas.miami.edu

Phone: +1-305-421-5092

Twitter: @fonamental

Javier del Campo

Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (IBE-CSIC)

My research has always been focused on the study of the ecology and evolution of microbial eukaryotes but recently I have been expanding my scope to the prokaryotes in order to have an integrated view of the microbial compartment, particularly when dealing with microbiomes. My research includes both wet lab and dry lab, to develop experiments and bioinformatics analysis to enable the broadest possible research goals. My research is currently focused on the study of host-associated microeukaryotes and the effect of global warming on the microbiomes of benthic and planktonic marine animals.

The eukaryotic microbiome: unveiling the animal associated microeukaryotes: Unlike the study of the bacterial fraction of the microbiome, the study of the micro-eukaryotes associated with animals has largely been restricted to visual identification or molecular targeting of particular groups. The application of high-throughput sequencing approaches, such as those used to look at bacteria, has been limited because the barcode gene we use to study microeukaryotes ecology and distribution in the environment, the 18S rRNA gene, is also present in the host animals. As a result, when host-associated microbial eukaryotes are analyzed the retrieved sequences are dominated by the host. Stemming from my work on coral-associated microeukaryotes, I successfully implemented an approach that avoids the amplification of metazoan host genes, which allows us to use high throughput methods to study the microeukaryotic communities of animals. This approach opens the door to the study of diversity and distribution of microeukaryotes in a myriad of environments, from the coral surface to the human gut.

Effects of ocean warming on the microbiomes of benthic and planktonic marine animals: Ongoing climate change and its effects on the environment, such as rising sea temperature, has strong impacts on free-living marine microbial communities. However, the effects of global warming have not been properly studied on host-associated microbiomes. Microbiomes (both prokaryotic and eukaryotic) associated with host organisms have a strong influence on host evolution, physiology, and ecological functions. I study how environmental changes resulting from global warming affect the composition and function of the microbiomes in key members of the marine fauna and consequently how these changes affect the hosts. Currently, my study focuses on these impacts on corals, teleost fish, and zooplankton. To tackle this novel research topic, I use a combination of molecular biology, ecophysiology, and bioinformatics.