I am an Arctic microbiologist exploring the flourishing interaction between microbial warfare in global climate change which has become a major concern. My work evolves around bacterial and archaeal domains of life from the study of landfills to the frozen soils of Arctic permafrost. I am a native of India currently based in Norway for my doctoral training. I work at University of Bergen, Norway, with my supervision in collaboration with UNIS-The University Centre in Svalbard and The Arctic University in Tromsø.
My PhD investigates Arctic permafrost and pingos. Permafrost is permanently frozen soil for more than two consecutive years and pingos are special geological features formed on these frozen grounds due to underground water pressure activities forming ice-hills in spring and crater-like structure during summer when it collapses. My research aims to understand the functional role of permafrost soil microbiomes and their super fascinating work mechanism in frozen conditions.
My research also involves the study of sediments obtained from pingos located in Adventdalen Valley in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. These sediments are quite precious and home to diverse microbes especially those involved in methane metabolism. Methane oxidizers and Methane producers hold potential for other biogeochemical cycles important for nutrient cycling.
I have hands-on expertise for cultivating psychrophilic (cold-loving) methane oxidizers during my PhD journey. These bacteria have significant potential to use methane gas from the atmosphere as their growth substrate alongside these sediments are investigated for their microbiome using community genomic DNA and geochemical composition for better correlation. For the completion of my fieldwork from biologist perspective in Svalbard, I received an Arctic Fieldwork Grant (AFG2021).
At present, I am a member in Council in the APECS (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists) and acted as the National Committee Coordinator (NCC) for 2020-2021. I began my research journey by working as junior research fellow (2017-2019), at National Centre for Cell Science – National Centre for Microbial Resource (NCCS-NCMR) in India. At the NCCS-NCMR I was involved in the establishment of an anaerobic facility and conducted research for a nationally funded project dealing with study of methane producing archaea (methanogens) from landfills and their implications on global carbon budget.
Presently, working as a polar environment microbiologist, I have developed a never-ending urge for exploring the micro-life in the frozen world which has potential methane hubs. Research in the Arctic has opened many opportunities to unlock the biological roles at microbial levels present in methane liberation and their consequence on global climate change.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more about the life in frozen soils and how methane is used in bacteria functions.
Universiy Email: Shalaka.email@example.com
MOSAiC Field Vlog Maps: Association of Polar Early Career Scientists – Vlogs (apecs.is)
Grant, Danielle M., Ole B. Brodnicke, Ann M. Evankow, André O. Ferreira, João T. Fontes, Aslak K. Hansen, Mads R. Jensen, Tuğba E. Kalaycı, Alexandra Leeper, Shalaka K. Patil, Sebastian Prati, Anna Reunamo, Aradhana J. Roberts, Rajesh Shigdel, Valentina Tyukosova, Mika Bendiksby, Rakel Blaalid, Filipe O. Costa, Peter M. Hollingsworth, Elisabeth Stur, and Torbjørn Ekrem. (2021). “The Future of DNA Barcoding: Reflections from Early Career Researchers” Diversity 13(7): 313.
Schweitzer, Hannah, Nerea J. Aalto, Wolfgang Busch, Dennis Tin Chat Chan, Matteo Chiesa, Edel O. Elvevoll, Robin Gerlach, Kirsten Krause, Karel Mocaer, James J. Moran, Joseph P. Noel, Shalaka Kiran Patil, Yannick Schwab, René H. Wijffels, Angela Wulff, Lise Øvreås, Hans C. Bernstein. (2021). “Innovating carbon-capture biotechnologies through ecosystem-inspired solutions” One Earth 4(1021): 49-59.
Yogesh S. Nimonkar, Bhoomika Yadav, Payal Talreja, Ashutosh Sharma, Shalaka Patil, Sunita S. Saware, Dilip R. Ranade & Om Prakash. (2019). “Assessment of the Role of Wastewater Treatment Plant in Spread of Antibiotic Resistance and Bacterial Pathogens.” Indian Journal of Microbiology 59: 261–265.