Alexandra Weber and her MSCA Global Fellowship at Ifremer

Alexandra Weber has been awarded an MSCA Global Fellowship for her project “The molecular drivers of deep-sea adaptation in brittle stars”. She is currently working at Museums Victoria, in Melbourne, Australia. Ifremer will host her for her return phase In Brest in 2020.

After my PhD in Oceanography, Marine Biology and Ecology at Aix-Marseille University and a postdoctoral position at the University of Basel, I really wanted to work on my own project. The application phase was an occasion to take my career in my own hands and to focus my research on brittle star genomics. I also really wanted to work with Tim O’Hara, the worldwide expert in this field, who constructed a robust phylogeny of the whole class. It is also a great experience to go working abroad for several years. Australia is a beautiful country to visit and Melbourne a great city to live in. In my case, being in an English speaking country, it is maybe easier than somewhere else as the language at work and on the streets is the same.

Without Ifremer as host institution, I would not be able to do my research properly. Working on a genomics project, computational resource requirements (e.g. memory, CPUs, disk space) are enormous. I luckily have access to Ifremer’s HPC cluster Datarmor and can therefore run my calculations remotely!