Nordic Environmental NUcleotide Network

Steering group meeting 16th Marts

April 7th, 2011

Steering group meeting 16th Marts 2011 from 12.30 – 18

Attending at the meeting: Kim Yrjälä (Finland), Åsa Frostegård (Norway), Sara Hallin (Sweden), Andreas Schramm (Denmark), Solveig K. Pétursdóttir (Iceland), Morten Schostag Nielsen (Secretary), Carsten Suhr Jacobsen (Network leader)


1) The role of the steering group

2) Update on planning of PhD courses in NENUN

3) Update on new application and activities within the network

4) Agenda for next workshop in Reykjavik in September

5) Student-exchange

6) NENUN-methods

7) Homepage

8 ) Any other business

1) The role of the steering groups

It is the steering group’s role to support the activities in NENUN. The steering group will secure that the decisions from the NENUN workshops is implemented. The steering group will decide on support from NENUN to activities in the network including student exchange and research visit applications.

The steering group decided to meet just before the start of next NENUN workshop in Reykjavik Wednesday 7th September 2011 in the afternoon. After Reykjavik workshop it will be decided whether there should be another steering group meeting in February 2012.

2) Update on planning of PhD courses in NENUN

Andreas Schramm presented the plans for the course on Single cell methods. This course will be held 15th-21st of August in Sweden. Stefan Bertilsson will send out information on this later. The course will be posted on the homepage as soon as the description is ready.

The course “Ecological theory linked to microbial ecology” was originally planed to be applied for as a full NordForsk Research Training Course PhD course but is has now been decided that it can be supported as a NENUN course. It is expected to run in May 2012. Alexander Eiler and Sara Hallin are the responsible persons.

The other planned application for a full NordForsk Research Training Course “Environmental Transcript Analysis and Transcriptomics” has not been applied for in 2011 but will be applied for in 2012 and Carsten Suhr Jacobsen is the responsible person.

The application “ NGS data Ph.D. course “ by Marja Tiirola has been submitted to NordForsk for a full NordForsk Research Training Course with the inclusion of particular interested NENUN partners.

3) Update on new application and activities within the network

It was decided that the steering group will initiate the lobby work for a Nordic Centre of Excellence (NCoE) should start as soon as possible. Carsten will make a draft paper on the need for a Center of excellence in Microbial Ecology with specific implications for the Nordic aspect and Åsa Frostegård and Andreas Schramm will comment on this prior to involvement of the rest of the NENUN NCoE group. Sara volunteered to make contact to NordForsk to “dig out” their possible plans for the next NCoE .

4) Agenda for next workshop in Reykjavik in September

There was an agreement on four sessions at the workshop in Reykjavik. The four sessions will be as follows:

Session 1: Analysis of single cells and specific populations

This session covers single cell and population analyses in the environment, on all levels from the detection of genes or transcripts inside single microbial cells to the analysis of activity (substrate uptake) at the single cell level (e.g. MAR-FISH, nanoSIMS), to capturing single cells for gene or genome sequencing, and also includes the quantitative analysis of specific populations (e.g. by qPCR or FISH).

Session 2: Active microbes in the environment

This session covers the analysis of microbial communities in the environment that are performing specific activities. This could be quantitative analysis of functional genes (examples nitrogen related or pesticide related) or it could be measurement of microbial mediated biochemical processes. The use of sequencing analysis of transcripts – transcriptomics – to reveal new microbial pathways directly in environmental samples is also included.

Session 3: Functional diversity of microorganisms in different ecosystems

This session covers functional genes important for key functions of pristine ecosystems, but also functional gene diversity in response to environmental stress like pollutants or draught and other stressors. Functional gene diversity for discovering functions or changes in function of different ecosystems.

Session 4: Making ecological sense out of sequence data

This session deals with various ways to analyze sequence data to get insights into microbial ecology

There will be a three hour excursion Friday after noon. Destination has not be decided, Solveig will investigate were to go.

There is a maximum of 50 participants for Reykjavik. NENUN will pay for the stay for 2 persons per group.

Titles should be submitted to NENUN secretary before 1st of August.

5) Student-Exchange

It was decided that the network will aim at paying for 5 exchanges a year of maximum 20.000 Norwegian kroner. Funding will cover travel expenses and accommodation. Bench fee is not included. There will still be 4 deadlines for applications (March 1st, June 1st, September 1st, and December 1st). It was decided that not only PhD students but also post Doc’s and senior scientist can apply for this. Individuals can only receive funding once, but institutes may have several individuals who may receive funding.

All applications should be send to, and cc to the host and own supervisor or group leader. It is expected that each person receiving funding will prepare a one page description of the stay or give a presentation on the forthcoming NENUN workshop

The steering group will make an application form to be filled out. Applications should contain a template to be filled out, a full budget of the stay and a one page presentation of the project and reason for the stay.  The steering group will make a guideline for an exchange visits Carsten will make a draft and send to the steering group. After receiving the applications at the travel grant email address the NENUN secretary will send all applications to the members of the steering group. Each member ranks the applications from their own judgment and returns a prioritised list to the NENUN secretary within 14 days.

The steering group discussed the evaluation criteria of the judgement and it was decided that longer stays are preferable to secure real collaborative effect, but in certain cases also a short visit can be relevant.

The support is paid from GEUS to the host institution for the person travelling. The support will be paid after the trip, upon receiving 1) a one page description of the activities and 2) a bill from the host institution send to GEUS.

6) NENUN-methods

Carsten will make some example of what is expected of a protocol. This will be uploaded on the homepage.

7) Homepage

There was an agreement, that there should be a Job page on the home page for the network to post job positions. Contact Morten

8 ) Any Other business


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