ECR Viromics Webinar Series


The ECR Viromics Webinar Series is a fully virtual forum to enable early career researchers to showcase their research online to the community. The talks will be focused on the study of viruses in complex communities, including natural and built environment ecosystems. We invite you to nominate speakers below. The ECR viromics webinar series will begin February 9, 2022.

The ECR Viromics Webinar Series is a collaborative effort between the European Virus Bioinformatics Center, the NSF EMERGE Biology Integration Institute, and the Center of Microbiome Science.


  • When: once a month, every second Wednesday at 7 am PST  / 10 am EST / 4 pm CET.
  • How to attend: upon registration, you will receive a zoom link.
  • Register: here
  • Nominate: we invite you to nominate speakers for the webinar series by completing this form


December 14, 2022 | Justine Charon, Sydney, Australia
“Investigating the protist virosphere: the current limits and how we can face them?”





Rene Kallies - Virologist

November 9, 2022 | René Kallies, Leipzig, Germany
Talk: “Introduction to MuDoGeR – a pipeline to automatically recover and analyse (viral) genomes from metagenomes”




October 12, 2022 | Uri Neri, Moshav Yarkona, Israel
Talk: “RNA viruses in metatranscriptions – dawn of a new age?” 





September 14, 2022 | Daan Jansen, KU Leuven, Belgium
Talk: “Community typing as a way to explore virome compositional changes in IBD patients”






August 10, 2022 | Elaine Luo, Postdoctoral Scholar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Talk: “Viral diversity in the ocean”





July 13, 2022 | Janina Rahlff, Linneaus University, Sweden
Talk: “Dwelling in the ocean’s skin: lessons learned from studying viruses at the air-sea boundary”

Janina Rahlff is a marine microbiologist and postdoc in Karin Holmfeldt’s lab at the Linnaeus University in Kalmar, Sweden, where she currently investigates phages and virus-host interactions in the 1 mm thin layer between ocean and atmosphere. Janina received her PhD from the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg in Germany, where she explored bacteria in the sea-surface microlayer and before she started her first postdoc at the University of Duisburg-Essen and gained interest in viral metagenomics and the virioneuston (viruses in the microlayer).


June 8, 2022 | Ahmed Zayed, Ph. D., Research scientist in the Sullivan Lab at Ohio State University
Talk: “Ecology and evolutionary origins of the Global Ocean RNA virome”

Dr. Zayed’s research spans environmental, medical, and pharmaceutical microbiology, and aims at understanding the interactions happening between microbes and their environments across different ecosystems. Employing cutting-edge bioinformatic and high-throughput tools, his research led to the discovery of hundreds of thousands of DNA/RNA viral sequences and thousands of microbes in the global ocean, human/animal bodies, and carbon-rich soils. He finished his Ph.D. in Microbiology in 2019 from the Ohio State University, where he is currently conducting his research on the ecology and evolution of RNA viruses. Dr. Zayed is also part of the leadership team of the EMERGE Biology Integration Institute which aims at understanding microbial acclimation, assembly, and adaptation processes in complex, dynamic ecosystems.

May 11, 2022 | Special edition: ~2 hours of talks live from the mini-symposium segment of the 5th International Viromics Workshop, held at Ohio State University. 

Mini-symposium content: (available to watch on our YouTube channel)
Viromics overview | Simon Roux, JGI
Oceans overview | Ahmed Zayed, OSU
Soils overview | Joanne Emerson, UC Davis
Host-associated overview (plants, insect, animal) | Arvind Varsani, ASU

Rotem SorekApril 3, 2022 | Rotem Sorek, Ph. D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.
Talk: “The immune system of bacteria: Beyond CRISPR”

Rotem’s lab webpage:


March 9, 2022 | Florian Pfaff, Ph.D., Laboratory Head at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Germany
Talk: “Virus discovery now and then – from Koch’s postulate to browsing viruses in the internet”

Florian Pfaff is a bioinformatician heading the Laboratory for Applied Bioinformatics and Sequencing of Viral Genomes and Transcriptomes at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute in Germany. Florian studied Biotechnology in Jena and Bremerhaven where he already studied the genome and the phylogeny of viruses. He was working on different projects at the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research and the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Ecology about evolutionary ecology including a scientific expedition with the Argentine research vessel ’ARA Puerto Deseado’. Florian received his PhD on “Expanding the virosphere – Advanced genomic classification” at the FLI.

February 9, 2022 | Ann Gregory, Ph.D., Postdoc in the Sullivan Lab at Ohio State University
Talk: “Growing opportunities for studying microdiversity in viral ecology”

Ann Gregory is a viral ecologist and population geneticist interested in understanding the role of viruses in human gut microbiome dynamics. Ann received her PhD in Matt Sullivan’s lab at Ohio State University where she studied viruses in the global oceans and human gut. Ann received the EMBO fellowship for a postdoc position in Belgium at KU Leuven under the mentorship of Jeroen Raes, where she shifted gears to focus on bacterial metabolisms in the human gut. After completing her fellowship, Ann moved back to the US to be closer to family and recently re-joined the Sullivan lab for another postdoc to re-focus on viruses.