Who we are

Johan Bengtsson-Palme
Principal investigator, Assistant professor
PhD in Medicine (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
PostDoc at University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA)

MSc in Systems Biology (University of Gothenburg)
BSc in Biology (University of Gothenburg)

Research interests include antibiotic resistance, interactions in microbial communities, secondary effects of antibiotics, pathogen ecology, metagenomic methods, molecular taxonomy and perturbed ecosystems.

Anna Abramova
PhD in Natural Sciences (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
PostDoc at University of Gothenburg, Sweden
MSc in Marine Ecology (University of Nordland, Norway)
BSc in Biology (Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia)


Anna is working within the EMBARK project which is focused on establishing background levels of antibiotic resistance across the world. Her work is primarily focused on the development of methods for detection of emerging resistance using genome-resolved metagenomics and co-localization analysis.

Daniel Jaén-Luchoro
PhD in Environmental and Biomedical Microbiology (University of Balearic Islands, Spain)
PostDoc at the University of Gothenburg (Gothenburg, Sweden)
MSc in Advanced Microbiology (University of Balearic Islands)
BSc in Biochemistry (University of Balearic Islands)
BSc in Biology (University of Balearic Islands)

Daniel is working part time at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital developing protocols for using NGS in diagnostics, and part time doing research in the Bengtsson-Palme lab. His main research focus has been the development of fast and culture-independent methods for diagnostics of infectious diseases, combining genomic and proteomic approaches, as well as investigate the background aspects of bacterial antibiotic resistance, far beyond the well-known resistance mechanisms. His long-term goal in research is to determine an efficient methodology to unravel the entire set of adaptations of bacterial cells to antibiotic in any situation, which could be applied also in other fields. His work in the Bengtsson-Palme lab will focus on co-resistance between biocides and antibiotics, as part of the BIOCIDE project. Specifically, he will focus on updating and improving the BacMet database for biocide resistance genes and biocide selection data.

Máté Vass
PhD in Biology (Uppsala University, Sweden)
PostDoc at Umeå University, Sweden
MSc in Environmental Science (University of Pannonia, Hungary)
BSc in Environmental studies (University of Pannonia)


Máté has a community ecology background, and is investigating how antibiotic resistance genes are affected by community dynamics (i.e., due to community mixing events) and assembly processes. He is also interested in how climate warming or other pollutants than antibiotics (i.e., microplastics) influence and mobilise antimicrobial resistance. He aims to approach the field of antimicrobial resistance from a metacommunity ecology perspective and shift the field towards new avenues. He is part of the DDLS program, funded by the Wallenberg foundation.

Emil Burman
Doctoral student
MSc in Molecular Biology (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
BSc in Molecular Biology (University of Gothenburg)

Emil is working on identifying specific genes that affect bacterial invasion and colonization success, particularly in the face of environmental stressors, most prominently in the form of antibiotics. His project will lead to a better understanding of the genetic mechanisms that make a bacterium a better or worse invader and will also provide insights into the secondary effects of antibiotic exposure in the environment beyond development of antibiotic resistance.

Mirjam Dannborg
Doctoral student
MSc in Molecular Biology (Umeå University, Sweden)
BSc in Molecular Biology (Umeå University)

Mirjam is working with microbial community interactions focusing on the human gut microbiome. Currently, she is establishing in vitro model systems for microbial communities in a gastrointestinal environment. These model systems will be used to unearth how perturbations such as antibiotic treatment affect interspecies interactions and community resilience to invasion by pathogens. Her project also seeks to understand what genetic mechanisms allow for successful invasions in established gut communities. 

Marcus Wenne
Doctoral student
MSc in Molecular Biology (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
BSc in Molecular Biology (University of Gothenburg)

Marcus is investigating if there is an increased selection pressure for antibiotic resistance in bacteria living in soil amended with environmentally relevant levels of antibiotics. To do this he is using a bioinformatic approach to examine soil samples exposed to different levels of antibiotics for different amounts of time. His project will contribute to the knowledge of where selection for antibiotic resistance is (or is not) taking place. He is part of the DDLS program, funded by the Wallenberg foundation.

Vi Varga
Doctoral student
MSc in Bioinformatics (Lund University, Sweden)
BSc in Biological Sciences (University of Cincinnati, OH, US)
BA in German Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology (University of Cincinnati)


Vi utilizes bioinformatics-based approaches to study the evolution of antibiotic resistance and pathogenesis. Their goal is to identify and characterize proteins relevant to the processes by which bacteria develop resistance to a given antibiotic and transition from benign to pathogenic. Vi brings an interdisciplinary approach to their research, having studied archaeology during their undergraduate years. Vi is part of the DDLS program, funded by the Wallenberg foundation.

Jorge Agramont
Doctoral student
MSc in Biological Sciences (Mayor de San Ándres University, Bolivia)
BSc in Biology (Mayor de San Ándres University)
BSc in Agricultural Engineering (Mayor de San Ándres University)

Jorge is looking for antimicrobial resistance genes and pathogens in freshwater and wastewater, to evaluate the contribution of human pollution into the environmental resistome of water bodies, to survey for known and new resistance genes circulating in the population and to characterise the distribution of resistance genes in water environments. Jorge is a doctoral student funded by SIDA doing part his PhD thesis in the Bengtsson-Palme lab and part of it in the lab of Volga Iñiguez at UMSA in Bolivia.

Josue Mamani Jarro
Doctoral student

Josue is a doctoral student funded by SIDA doing part his PhD thesis in the Bengtsson-Palme lab and part of it in the lab of Volga Iñiguez at UMSA in Bolivia.

Agata Marchi
Master’s Student

BSc in Biological Sciences (University of Milan, Italy)

Agata is working on her master’s thesis project, in which she is implementing a bioinformatic approach to identify differences between the genomes of host-associated and non host-associated strains of bacterial species that can act as opportunistic pathogens. Her goal is to compile a list of genes that are over-represented and under-represented in the pathogenic strains of each species and investigate their specific functions.

Lisa Teichmann
External associated Doctoral Student
(University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
MSc in Environmental Technology (University of Stuttgart, Germany)
BSc in Environmental Technology (University of Stuttgart)

Lisa Teichmann is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam in the group of Stanley Brul (Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety). Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that are leading to the development of de novo resistance upon exposure to sub-lethal concentrations of antimicrobial agents. By knocking out different genes involved in stress-induced pathways in Escherichia coli, she is investigating the impact of these cellular mechanisms on the acquisition of antimicrobial resistance.

Nathália Abichabki
Visiting Doctoral Student
MSc in Biosciences and Biotechnology (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
BSc in Pharmacy-Biochemistry (University of São Paulo)


Nathália is a visiting doctoral student from the University of São Paulo. She is studying the bacterial strategies that can lead to antibiotic treatment failure, including bacterial resistance and tolerance to antibiotics. In her PhD research, she is looking for which specific genes are related to antibiotic tolerance development, in addition to mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics in pathogenic bacteria, with a focus on Gram-negative bacilli.