The idea for “Young diatomists/Young ISDR” was created at the European Geosciences Union general assembly in Vienna in 2015 as a possibility of bringing the energy of early-career researchers and technicians dealing with diatom research into the council of the International Society of Diatom Research (ISDR).

The aim was to create a platform for early career scientists and technicians in order to facilitate networking for them. Hannah Hartung (neé Vossel) prepared activities for the International Diatom Symposium (IDS) 2016 in Québéc such as the first Young Diatomist Meeting including a speedtalk session and the election.

During the IDS 2016 Québéc, Hannah was elected as the new Early-Career Representative (ECR) and with the aid of Xavier Benito started creating the network of early career researchers. In 2017 Andrea Burfeid was added to the newly created Young ISDR core team. This core of people started creating the network presence of the Young diatomists, where young diatomists (including early-career researchers and technicians) can share publications, job offers and blog posts about ongoing diatom research or get in contact with each other.

The Young ISDR core team also organized several activities at the IDS 2018 in Berlin including an informal get-together, speed-talk sessions, a day full of post-conference workshops and again elections for an new ECR. During the general ISDR meeting, a new system for the ECRs was established, adding a second ECR to the council, increasing the imprint of the ECR in it. Thus, since then, the 4 year ECR running time is set to overlap with the next ECR. At each International Diatom Symposium a new ECR will be elected to learn the ropes from the previous ECR and then teach them to the next elected. During IDS Berlin Andrea Burfeid was elected as new ECR in addition to Hannah as outgoing ECR.

The next ECR will be elected after Yamagata 2023.

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The Young ISDR Team

Kálmán Tapolczai

incoming Early Career Representative

Balaton Limnological Research Institute

My research interest is the diversity and ecology of benthic and planktic algal communities in freshwater habitats. I am interested in the community level response of these organisms to key anthropogenic pressures in an era of global environmental crisis. I have been studying
DNA metabarcoding as a promising molecular tool in the accurate identification of algal assemblages and its potentials in biomonitoring and ecological quality assessment.

Andrea Burfeid Castellanos

outgoing Early Career Representative 2021-2024

Universität Duisburg-Essen
Phycology Research Group
Universitätsstr. 2
45141 Essen

My studies have been focussed on freshwater and river diatom taxonomy and ecology, with emphasis on diatoms from intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams. My aim is to understand how the effect of drying changes diatom community structure, and to some extent, physiology. I hope that, with the help of this website, Early Career Researchers will find a platform to communicate and network with fellow diatomists.

Paula Mendoza

Young ISDR Team

IRTA-Institute for Food and Agricultural Research and Technology,
Marine and Continental Waters Programme,
Ctra de Poble Nou Km 5.5,
E43540 Sant Carles de la Ràpita,

I am a biologist and environmental scientist interested in the taxonomy and ecology of diatoms and how the climate change affects their biodiversity. Furthermore, I am also interested in the use of these organisms as bioindicators. Currently, I am doing a PhD at IRTA’s Marine and Continental Waters Programme. I will be studying and analysing diatom samples from different environments in the Canary Islands in order to know which diatom diversity is found in islands. Before the PhD, during my master’s thesis, I was working also with diatoms trying to understand how drought affect them and which diversity is found in Mediterranean rivers.

Rafał M. Olszyński

Young ISDR Team

University of Lodz, Department of Algology and Mycology
Banacha 12/16 St.
90-237 Lodz, Poland

I'm an assistant professor in the Department of Algology and Mycology at the University of Lodz. My research focuses on the taxonomy and ecology of benthic diatoms in post-mining reservoirs. I'm studying how the unique environmental conditions prevailing in these types of ecosystems affect diatom communities.
Recently I've been working with the diatom culturing and phylogeny of some Bacillariaceae species.

Luca Pellegrino

Young ISDR Outreach Officer

I am a research fellow at the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Torino. My research mostly focusses on the biosedimentology and paleoceanographic interpretation of diatomaceous and evaporitic sediments formed in the Mediterranean region during the Miocene epoch and in particular during the Messinian, when the Mediterranean basin was transformed in the youngest salt giant of Earth history. In my work, I combine different approaches (petrography, micropaleontology, mineralogy and geochemistry) for reconstructing the depositional environments in which these extraordinary geobiological archives formed.

Eldrin DLR. Arguelles

Curator and University Researcher II

Philippines National Collection of Microorganisms, National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH), University of the Philippines Los Banos

Eldrin is the curator of the microalgae collection of the Philippines National Collection of Microorganisms. His research focuses on diatom-microbe interaction with emphasis on describing the mechanisms of bloom formation of an invasive diatom species (Cymbella janischii) using metabarcoding and metatranscriptomics.  As a curator, he also does research on the isolation, long-term preservation, identification, molecular taxonomy and biotechnological applications of different terrestrial, aquatic, and marine microalgae (particularly diatom species).

Caroline McKenzie

Young ISDR Team and Twitter Expert

Hello! My name is Caroline, I live in York, UK, and over the last couple of years have discovered the exciting world of diatoms!

After studying biochemistry as an undergraduate degree at Newcastle University, I moved to York (Mackinder lab) to pursue a research masters in the field of algal pyrenoids. Located in the chloroplast, pyrenoids are part of the algal carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM), ensuring efficient photosynthesis.

My research area focused on pyrenoid proteins in the model diatom T. pseudonana, using bioinformatic methods to model structure. My project developed to focus on the phylogeny of these proteins, and their diversity amongst widespread algal lineages (including diatoms).

In 2023 I took this research to the IDSR26 symposium in Yamagata, Japan. At this meeting I discovered the wonder of diatoms themselves, not just their molecular systems. I am excited to be part of young ISDR and learn more about the depth and breadth of diatoms and the people that study them!

In my spare time I enjoy singing, appreciating the nature of my local parks and being involved with my local church family.

Raquel Viso Rodríguez

Young ISDR Social Media Magician

I am a biologist and recently graduated in the master "Advanced Studies of Flora and Fauna". During the last year of my degree I started my training as a scholarship holder in the Diatom Lab of the University of León. Recently I got a contract with the INVESTIGO programme as research staff in the same laboratory. Over these years I have analysed and studied diatom samples from different environments and from different perspectives, but my latest research has focused on the study of aerophilic diatoms.

Luke Brokensha

Young ISDR Core Team member

My research is focused around the Continuous Plankton Recorder program for the Southern Ocean (SO-CPR). This program samples the plankton found in the surface waters between the Australian and Antarctic continents, and my role focuses on phytoplankton taxonomy. The data set covers the last 30 years, and is continuously growing in temporal and spatial scope. With this rich data set, we are able to track and map trends and changes to plankton communities through time, and assess the impacts of climate change on the Southern Ocean.

Dr. Hannah Hartung (née Vossel)

Ex- Early Career Representative (first)

University of Cologne
Department of Geosciences
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy
Zülpicher Str. 49a
50674 Cologne

Hannah was a PhD student & "young lecturer" at the University of Bonn. Her research focussed is the usage of fossilized diatoms in lacustrine sediment cores for the reconstruction of palaeoenvironments and palaeoclimate during the Holocene in the Eastern Mediterranean region, especially Israel.

She is now employed at the University of Cologne as the coordinator of the Graduate School of Geosciences (GSGS).

Dr. Xavier Benito-Granell

Part of the Young ISDR Core Team, coordinator

I study aquatic ecosystems across different time and spatial scales. My research interest lies on the interface between limnology, paleoecology and biogeography. Diatoms are at the core of my research. Particularly, I´m interested to use species and communities as sentinels of global change, in combination with biophysical and social records to understand complex socio-ecological systems.