The Council

Sarah Spaulding

President 2023-2025

University of Colorado
Campus Box 450
Boulder, CO 80309-0450 USA

I am interested in taxonomy, paleoecology, systematic, assessment and biogeography of diatoms. My research is directed toward understanding diatom biology and the ecological roles of diatoms on the planet. I am passionate about sharing diatom taxonomy and ecology with scientists, students and the public. I currently serve as the Chair of the Editorial Review Board for collaborative, electronic, peer-reviewed flora,

Bart Van de Vijver

Vice-President 2023-2025

Botanic Garden Meise
Research Department
Nieuwelaan 38
1860 Meise

Bart Van de Vijver started his research at the University of Antwerp studying the use of diatoms as bioindicators in Belgium. Very soon he shifted his research interests towards morphology, taxonomy and biogeography of non-marine diatoms in the Antarctic Region. Since 2006 he has a permanent position as senior researcher at the Botanic Garden Meise (B) which he combines with a parttime professorship at the University of Antwerp (B). Although his main research is focused on freshwater and terrestrial diatoms, he recently got involved in an international project studying epizoic diatoms on sea turtles worldwide.

Rosa Trobajo

Past-President, 2023-2025

IRTA, Sant Carles de la Ràpita
Crta: Poble Nou, Km 5,5 43540 Sant Carles de la Ràpita
Catalonia, Spain

My research focuses on the benthic diatoms of Mediterranean rivers, coastal lagoons and estuaries. I'm particularly interested in the factors and processes affecting diatom communities and their distribution in these environments, and also in their use to track environmental changes. I'm also using culture and molecular data in order to improve the taxonomy and to better understand the ecology of selected common species that play a key role in these systems. Recently we have initiated research into DNA metabarcoding in which we are collaborating with several other European research groups.

Ingrid Jüttner


Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Department of Natural Sciences
Cathays Park
Cardiff, CF10 3NP
United Kingdom

I work as a researcher in diatoms at the Department of Natural Sciences, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. Diatom applications in environmental assessments of freshwaters and taxonomic, ecological and biogeographical studies of the diatom floras of Britain and Ireland, the Falkland Islands and the Himalaya are the core of my work. I am currently involved in projects on stream ecosystem restoration in England and Wales, effects of warming and pollution on freshwater ecosystems in Wales, and on lakes in the Nepalese Himalaya.

Keely Mills


British Geological Survey
Nottinghamshire NG12 5GG, UK

Working as part of the International Team (BGS Global), my day-to-day work is diverse: undertaking geoscience research, the development, management, and execution of new integrated research to address development priorities (UN’s Sustainable Development Goals), and leading and contributing to science professionalism both within BGS and externally (ethics, and equality, diversity and inclusion). At heart I am a palaeolimnologist and diatomist whose research interests are centered on understanding the impact of people and changes in hydro-climate on water quality and quantity in tropical regions. I am currently involved in a number of projects in Uganda, Kenya, Malaysia, and Australia. As part of the ISDR I serve as Honorary Treasurer, looking after the Society’s accounts and dealing with membership subscriptions and queries.

Eileen Cox

Editor, Diatom Research

Natural History Museum,
Cromwell Road,
London, SW7 5BD, UK

Head of Postgraduate Studies at the Natural History Museum, London, with responsibility for the support, training and development of PhD students in the museum. Having worked in universities and research institutions in both UK and Germany, her research interests focus on the systematics of naviculoid diatoms, but have included life history, ecological and morphogenetic studies and their relevance to character evaluation.

Marco Cantonati

Council Member 2022 - 2028

Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna (UniBO)
Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (BiGeA)
Via Zamboni, 33, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy

Marco Cantonati is an environmental botanist and ecohydrogeologist, specialized in the taxonomy and ecology of benthic algae with particular attention to diatoms, included in Top Italian Scientists (TIS) and in the Stanford-University Top 2% worldwide Scientists in 'Marine Biology & Hydrobiology'. His main research interests include taxonomy and ecology of diatoms and cyanoprokaryotes, freshwater science, bioassessments and monitoring, long-term ecological research, effects of climate and environmental change, paleolimnology. After having been Section Head (Limnology & Phycology) at the MUSE – Museo delleScienze, since 2022 he is tenure-track prof at the University of Bologna.

Marco Cantonati is also an Associate Researcher at ANSP PCER Drexel University (PA, USA), earning a venia docendi (PD Prof.) in Limnology Phycology at the University of Innsbruck. He has organized three international Congresses (Use of algae for monitoring rivers and comparable habitats 2015, 2nd Central European Diatom Meeting, 1998 Meeting of German-speaking Diatomists), and numerous special sessions at international meetings. He has published 118 articles in ISI international journals with IF, 27 book chapters or books. During his career, he discovered and described genera and species of algae (namely diatoms!) and cyanoprokaryotes new to science, and has been the lead editor of one of the most widely used diatom identification texts internationally.

Carlos Eduardo Wetzel

Council Member 2022 - 2028

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology
ERIN – Environmental Research & Innovation Department 
41, rue du Brill
L-4422 Belvaux

A Brazilian/German botanist and a researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology that has authored and co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed articles in the last 15 years dealing with the taxonomy and ecology of diatoms from rivers, lakes, soils, and marine environments. Carlos has been teaching numerous training courses on diatom taxonomy and ecology designed for biologists and technicians from public and private institutions, contributing to the continuous improvement of the European Water Framework Directive. Still, he has collaborated with many diatomists worldwide, notably in his home country Brazil. His research interests focus on using diatoms as indicators in several branches and fields of diatom research. I have been a member of the ISDR since my first participation at the symposium in Dubrovnik (Croatia) in 2008. My interest in joining the council is to keep an active and diversified community, connected, well-informed and accessible to everyone.

Jonas Zimmermann

Council Member 2022 - 2028

Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin

Jonas Zimmermann is head of the Research Group Diatoms at Botanischer Garten und Botanisches
Museum, Freie Universität Berlin since 2019. He has many years of experience in integrative
taxonomic research on the evolution and systematics of diatoms using morphological, molecular,
biogeographical and phylogenetic data. Another focus of his research and work is the
implementation and improvement of the usability of eDNA metabarcoding for the refined evaluation
of diatom diversity and for the applied field of water quality assessment (e.g. EU WFD). This also
includes the establishment and curation of a corresponding taxonomically validated reference
database for diatoms. Among others, he is an expert for DIN and CEN regarding normalisation of
phytobenthos monitoring in the EU WFD, specifically concerning DNA based methods.
I expect becoming a member of the ISDR Council will give me the opportunity to support the very
important work of the ISDR to foster all fascinating aspects of diatom research, the “diatom”
community and the promotion of early career scientists.

Jonathan Taylor

Convenor IDS 2025

School of Biological Sciences (Botany)
North-West University in Potchefstroom
South Africa

I work at the School of Biological Sciences (Botany) at the North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. I curate the South African National Diatom Collection (SANDC) which is held at the NWU. The collection mostly consists of the slides and samples of Cholnoky, Schoeman and Archibald, as well as my collection dating back to 2003. I am interested in the documentation and validation of diatom taxa from South Africa as well as applications for biomonitoring. I am also working on the diatoms from the Congo and Zambezi river basins. I will be organizing the upcoming IDS meeting in South Africa in 2025.

Shinya Sato

co-past Convenor IDS 2023

Fukui Prefectural University
Department of Marine Science and Technology
1-1 Gakuencho, Obama, Fukui 917-0003, Japan

My research interests lie primarily in the area of life cycle of diatoms, in particular, sexual reproduction and auxospore formation. Along with classical approaches using various microscopies, I try to use genomic and transcriptomic data to better understand the evolution and diversity of their life cycle strategies. I'm also currently working on valve morphogenesis, morphological plasticity, organellar genome inheritance, and phylogeny of different groups of diatoms. I had stayed in Germany for my PhD degree, and then moved to Scotland for my postdoc project. After 8 years stay in Europe I returned to Japan, and since 2014 I started working at the current university.

Maria Kahlert

Council Member 2018-2024

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
PO Box 7050, SE- 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden

My research interest are freshwater benthic algae; their biodiversity, regulation by environmental factors, and algae as biomonitors in lakes and streams. I work with diatoms, but also on other algae. My special interest is the harmonization of methods to make data and results comparable, and I have in this context recently started with DNA barcoding. I am born in Germany and did my university education in Cologne, then moved to Sweden (Uppsala) for work.

Kálmán Tapolczai

incoming ECR Representative 2023 - 2025

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

University Duisburg-Essen
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 am now going to stray a bit into the harmful algal blooms, but look forward to keep working with the intermittent rivers. I hope that, with the help of this website, Early Career Researchers will find a platform to communicate and network with fellow diatomists.

Martyn Kelly

Council Member 2018-2024

Bowburn Consultancy

Martyn is an environmental consultant with 25 years’ experience developing algal-based methods for ecological assessment of freshwaters. He has worked extensively on implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Europe and, recently, started to explore the potential of metabarcoding. He has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed publications and is an editor of Freshwater Benthic Diatoms of Central Europe. He is an Honorary Professor in Geography at Nottingham University and, in addition, has a degree in Fine Art. His blog,, attempts to explain the world of microscopic algae to non-specialist audiences.

Richard Jordan

Co-past Convenor, IDS 2023

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science,Kojirakawa-machi 1-4-12,
Yamagata University,
Yamagata 990-8560, JAPAN

My research on fossil marine diatoms is focused on (1) taxonomy and morphology (including evolutionary trends), and (2) palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. These topics are not constrained by a particular time, space or diatom lineage – although there has been a recent shift towards Miocene studies. On the other hand, my research on living marine diatoms focuses on biogeography and ecology, notably of marine lakes and coral reefs. I have a broad interest in taxonomy, but have concentrated on Proboscia, Rhizosolenia, Paralia, Thalassiosira, Actinoptychus, and Rouxia. Apart from diatoms, some of my students are also studying haptophytes, silicoflagellates, parmales, ebridians and sponge spicules.