Winner of the Alma Dal Co Award 2024

ISME is delighted to congratulate Jean-Baptiste Raina as the winner of the Alma Dal Co Award 2024, recognizing his significant contribution to microbial ecology in marine environments.

Jean-Baptiste Raina is a pioneering marine microbial ecologist whose innovative approach has significantly advanced the field of Microbial Ecology. By integrating environmental microbiology, chemical ecology, and biophysics, JB Raina has overcome technical challenges to uncover crucial microbial interactions in marine environments. His work has led to major breakthroughs and new methodologies which have been widely adopted in the ISME community. 

Some of his key contributions include the development of: 

  • In situ chemotaxis assay, a groundbreaking platform enabling the study of microbial behavior directly in the ocean; 
  • Micro-volume DNA Extraction, a technique that accurately characterizes microbial communities from minimal seawater samples and, 
  • Single-cell Nutrient Exchange Quantification, providing detailed insights into microbial interactions at the cellular level. 

JB Raina has also heavily contributed to our understanding of the marine sulfur cycle, discovering the first non-photosynthetic DMSP producer and identifying genes involved in DMSP production and degradation. His recent research challenges long-standing beliefs about bacterial swimming behavior, highlighting his role as a transformative figure in marine microbial ecology.

JB Raina will give a talk on Uncovering the impact of microbial behaviours using microscale approaches at the 19th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology. ISME19 will be held in Cape Town from 18-23 August 2024.

JB Raina grew up in the south of France. Before joining the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), he completed his PhD at James Cook University in 2014. Currently he is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Deputy Team Leader of the Ocean Microbiology group in the Climate Change Cluster (C3).

The ISME Alma Dal Co Award recognizes early career researchers who have made significant contributions to microbial ecology. All researchers working in the field of microbial ecology who gained their PhD ten or less years ago are eligible for this award. Any ISME Member can nominate a candidate, with calls opening in the fall of uneven years. Previous awardees include Ian Head (2004), Phil Hugenholtz (2006), Forest Rohwer (2008), Marc Strous (2010), Victoria Orphan (2012), Ruth Ley (2014), Gene Tyson (2016), Catherine Lozupone (2018) and Kelly Wrighton (2022).