Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)222 369 408
Guest researcher
Universiteit Utrecht
Jaap Sinninghe Damste
  • Marine microbial ecology
  • Anaerobic microbiology methods
  • Cultivation independant methods
  • Microbial community analysis

Saara Suominen

Guest researcher

Research interests and approaches

My project is on anaerobic organic matter degradation in marine environments. I am using cultivation-independant approaches to understand the niches of unknown ubiquitous organisms that affect biogeochemical cycles throughout the oceans. With better knowledge of the function and metabolisms of these organisms we will gain understanding of the processes affecting global cycles of carbon and insights in to the survival mechanisms in extreme energy limitation.

I am conducting metagenomic studies and incubations with stable isotopes, complex organic carbon sources as well as community knock-out incubations. I am interested in elucidating the highly structured succession of organisms and metabolisms needed for organic matter degradation in anoxic settings.

Previous research experience

Previously I have worked on methanogenic mixed bacterial communities grown on industrial waste, bacterial community dynamics in relation to predation pressure in the marine environment as well as cyanobacterial community composition and functioning in extreme aquatic conditions. My master's thesis work took an ecological approach  on  microbial  communities  and  evolutionary  dynamics, taking into account trait-based competition for resources and energy allocation in cellular processes.

Master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources (MENVI) – Major in Microbiology
University of Helsinki – Department of Food and Environmental Sciences  Sep 2011-Feb 2015
Bachelor of science in technology
Tampere University of Technology – Department of Chemistry and bioengineering Sep 2007-May 2011 
Research internship
Matís ltd. - Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D May 2013 – Nov 2013    
Research internship
Laboratoire Océanographique de Villefranche-sur-mer  May 2012 – Aug 2012 

Linked blogs

Tuesday 21 August 2018
NIOZ@SEA | Black Sea cruise 2018
The Black Sea is the largest permanently stratified low oxygen basin in the world and its water column is characterized by the presence of multiple redox gradients. This is an ideal setting to determine the physiology and role of microbes that do not…
Wednesday 29 March 2017
NIOZ@Sea: Black Sea cruise
This edition of NIOZ@Sea is a series of blogs from the Black Sea cruise of our scientists on board research vessel Pelagia. The Black Sea is the largest permanently stratified sea in the world. This is ideal to study the structure of microbial…