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Ostaizka Aizpurua

Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship

Does the dynamism of the gut microbiota improve the capacity of complex animals to adapt to dietary shifts?

Why:

The gut microorganism community (microbiota) is being recognized as an essential component of the biology of animals, allegedly allowing them to better adapt to a number of environmental changes. The main aim of the project is to measure the role of the gut microbiota in the adaptation process of dietary shifts, using fishing bats as study system.

How:

In this project I will tackle the topic from a wide variety of perspectives, using comparative metagenomics, functional genomics, long-term gut microbiota tracking and nutrition physiology, in which a different set of cutting-edge techniques will be employed.

What:

The ongoing global change is forcing organisms to rapidly adapt to new environmental conditions, so understanding how adaptation occurs is paramount. The dynamic nature of the gut microbiota might provide animals with the necessary plasticity to accomplish such adaptation, and this project aims to assess the extent of the effect of gut microorganisms in the adaptation to a new dietary source.