Dr Gurjeet Singh KOHLI
Research Fellow

Gurjeet completed his doctoral studies at the University of New South Wales in November 2013 and subsequently joined the Climate Change Cluster (C3) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) as a research fellow in the Sustainable Aquaculture Group. His research focused on designing new and efficient tools to study the marine microbial eukaryotic community structure via next generation amplicon sequencing and phylogenetics. At UTS he co- developed two assays for targeting/understanding specific community assemblages such as dinoflagellates that cause harmful algal blooms.
His other passion lies in studying toxins/bio-active compounds produced by marine algae that are structurally diverse and include polyethers, macrolides, alkaloids and fatty acids. These toxins can accumulate in the flesh of filter feeders, herbivorous fish and then affect larger fish, marine mammals, birds and humans. This research aims to reveal the genetic mechanisms by which dinoflagellates and other algae produce these toxins/bio-active compounds. The UTS team recently described the evolutionary distinctiveness of fatty acid and polyketide biosynthesis in 21 lineages of marine microbial eukaryotes, answering some of the most basic and fundamental questions in the discovery of toxin biosynthesis genes in microbial eukaryotes.
At SCELSE, Gurjeet will be studying microbial assemblages in diverse environments (from marine environments to microbiota living in humans and animal models) in the Public Health & Medical Biofilms cluster, under the supervision of A/Prof. Scott Rice.