My name is Johan Bengtsson-Palme. I am doing research in microbiology and microbial ecology, primarily focusing on investigating antibiotic resistance and interactions in bacterial communities using metagenomics and bioinformatics. Currently, I am an assistant professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy, studying antibiotic resistance, invasion processes in microbial communities, effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment, and molecular taxonomy. See my complete research interests here.

I did my PhD thesis for Prof. Joakim Larsson, with co-supervision by Erik Kristiansson at Chalmers University of Technology. During my PhD, I studied the effects of antibiotics in the environment, primarily using metagenomic approaches. I have also been involved in projects related to toxicology in marine environments. I reside in Gothenburg, on the Swedish west coast. To contact me, feel free to send an e-mail to my

Joakim Larsson Lab, Avd. för Klinisk bakteriologi/Virologi
Guldhedsgatan 10
SE-413 46 Göteborg

Office phone:
Sahlgrenska, main number: +46 (0) 31 – 342
Followed by the office code: 46 26

- Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
- Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research (CARe) at the University of Gothenburg
- Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Merits and employments
2017 – Assistant professor, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
2017 – Postdoctoral Associate in the group of Prof. Jo Handelsman, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2016-2017 – Postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Joakim Larsson (University of Gothenburg)
2011-2016 – PhD in medicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
2009-2011 – MSc in systems biology at the University of Gothenburg
2006-2009 – BSc in biology at the University of Gothenburg

I have published more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals, which have been cited more than 1400 times. I have also released more than 10 freely available software packages. Please see “Publications” at the top-right of the page for my complete publication list. Here is a list of selected key publications:

  • Bengtsson-Palme J, Larsson DGJ, Kristiansson E: Using metagenomics to investigate human and environmental resistomes. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, advance access (2017). doi: 10.1093/jac/dkx199 [Paper link]
  • Bengtsson-Palme J, Larsson DGJ: Antibiotic resistance genes in the environment: prioritizing risks. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 13, 369 (2015). doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3399-c1 [Paper link]
  • Bengtsson-Palme J, Hammarén R, Pal C, Östman M, Björlenius B, Flach C-F, Kristiansson E, Fick J, Tysklind M, Larsson DGJ: Elucidating selection processes for antibiotic resistance in sewage treatment plants using metagenomics. Science of the Total Environment, 572, 697–712 (2016). doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.06.228 [Paper link]
  • Bengtsson-Palme J, Angelin M, Huss M, Kjellqvist S, Kristiansson E, Palmgren H, Larsson DGJ, Johansson A: The human gut microbiome as a transporter of antibiotic resistance genes between continents. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 59, 10, 6551–6560 (2015). doi: 10.1128/AAC.00933-15 [Paper link]
  • Bengtsson-Palme J, Boulund F, Fick J, Kristiansson E, Larsson DGJ: Shotgun metagenomics reveals a wide array of antibiotic resistance genes and mobile elements in a polluted lake in India. Frontiers in Microbiology, 5, 648 (2014). doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00648 [Paper link]
  • Pal C, Bengtsson-Palme J, Kristiansson E, Larsson DGJ: The structure and diversity of human, animal and environmental resistomes. Microbiome, 4, 54 (2016). doi: 10.1186/s40168-016-0199-5 [Paper link]
  • Bengtsson-Palme J, Ryberg M, Hartmann M, Branco S, Wang Z, Godhe A, De Wit P, Sánchez-García M, Ebersberger I, de Souza F, Amend AS, Jumpponen A, Unterseher M, Kristiansson E, Abarenkov K, Bertrand YJK, Sanli K, Eriksson KM, Vik U, Veldre V, Nilsson RH: Improved software detection and extraction of ITS1 and ITS2 from ribosomal ITS sequences of fungi and other eukaryotes for use in environmental sequencing. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 4, 10, 914–919 (2013). doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12073 [Paper link]
  • Bengtsson-Palme J, Hartmann M, Eriksson KM, Pal C, Thorell K, Larsson DGJ, Nilsson RH: Metaxa2: Improved identification and taxonomic classification of small and large subunit rRNA in metagenomic data. Molecular Ecology Resources, 15, 6, 1403–1414 (2015). doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12399 [Paper link]

Major grants

  • InSiDER – Invasion Success Determinants in bacteria and the Environmental Resistome
    3 035 820 SEK, 2017-2020, FORMAS Mobility Grant

Please see this page for a complete listing of grants.

Research platform participation

  • CARe
    Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research at University of Gothenburg (2016-)
    The database for DNA identification of fungi (2013-)
    Gothenburg Bioinformatics Network (2012-)
  • MistraPharma
    A MISTRA-funded project to assess risks of human pharmaceuticals in the environment (2011-2016)
    A FORMAS-funded project to investigate co-selection of metal, biocide and antibiotic resistance (2012-2017)
  • Ecotoxicology from Gene to Ocean (EGO)
    at the Faculty of Science, University of Gothenburg (2008-2012)
  • GoBiG
    Gothenburg Bioinformatics Group for Junior Scientists (2012-2015)

Invited talks

  • Antibiotic resistance is in the air, but what does that mean?
    The (un)recognised pathways of AMR: Air pollution and food, Healthcare Without Harm Webinar, 2017-03-28
  • Antibiotic pollution from manufacturing
    Antimicrobial resistance: the environmental impact, Healthcare Without Harm Webinar, 2016-11-03
  • Elucidating biocide and metal co-selection for antibiotic resistance in sewage treatment plants using metagenomics
    The role of metals and biocides in the selection of antibiotic resistant bacteria, Stockholm, Sweden, 2016-03-15
  • Kan läkemedelsutsläpp påverka spridningen av antibiotikaresistens i miljön? – Ledtrådar från sekvensering och metagenomik
    NGS Seminar day, Laboratoriemedicin, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2013-05-23
  • Identification of detoxification systems in marine environments using sequence collections from global ocean sampling.
    Open Day in Life Sciences, organized by the Faculty of Science, University of Gothenburg, 2011-05-02

Other committees etc.

  • Member of the GOTBIN organisation group, University of Gothenburg (2016-)
  • Member of the expert panel for refinement of the criteria used for procurement of medicines in Sweden (2016-2017)
  • Member of the Department Board at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg (2008-2010)
  • Member of the Biology Programme Committee, University of Gothenburg (2008-2011)
  • Member of the Systems Biology Programme Committee, University of Gothenburg (2009-2011)

Previous positions