Luisa Orsini

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

Dr Orsini's research aims to identify evolutionary responses of aquatic organisms to climatic and other anthropogenic changes and predict species adaptive potential, hence survival, to future changes. To meet this goal she studies the keystone species Daphnia magna (waterflea).

One of the most fascinating aspects of D. magna life cycle is the production of dormant embryos that build up in sedimentary archives where they remain in suspended animation for decades or even centuries. Dr Orsini applies multiomics approaches on resurrected or still dormant Daphnia to study evolutionary trajectories through time and space in response to environmental change. In pursuit of this interest she has contributed significantly to the development of science. She showcased the paleogenomic approach as the most powerful way to reconstruct evolutionary dynamics in nature and to forecast future adaptive responses to environmental stress, including climate change (Orsini et al, 2013 TREE). She was the first to apply genomics to resurrected propagules of the waterflea D. magna obtained from sediment cores. She used patterns of genomic adaptation from these biological archives to validate patterns in space and experimental evolution trials (Orsini et al. 2012, 2013 Mol Ecol). The outcome of this research provided a template for future investigation in ecological genomics, combining multiple experimental approaches with the genomic investigation of a well-studied ecological model species. Dr Orsini contributed to opening the field of ecological genomics/genetics to non-model species by applying transformative technologies that enable the identification of genetic markers in species with limited genomic resources (e.g. Orsini et al, 2007 NAR). Dr Orsini ability to work at the interface of many research fields and her ongoing collaborations within and outside the Daphnia Genomics Consortium will ensure the development of a new innovative approach to science.

Recently, Dr Orsini has been appointed Director of the Environmental Omics Sequencing Facility at the University of Birmingham where she supports colleagues interested in applying multi-omics approaches to non-model species.

Education/Academic qualification

  • Master of Teaching and Learning

    Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP)

    2 Sep 2013 - 18 May 2017
  • Doctor of Science, Stazione Zoologica “A. Dohrn”; Naples, Italy

    Integrated approach to the study of diversity in the genus Pseudo-nitzschia (Bacillariophyceae): morphology, life cycles and molecular tools

    1 Oct 1999 - 1 Oct 2002
  • Master in Science, Istituto Universitario Navale, Naples-Italy

    Genetic variability of Posidonia oceanica populations related to water masses dynamic in the Mediterranean Sea

    1 Sep 1994 - 25 Mar 1999

Willingness to take PhD students

Yes

PhD projects

In pursuit of this interest Luisa Orsini contributed significantly to the development of science. Dr Orsini recently showcased the paleogenomic approach as the most powerful way to reconstruct evolutionary dynamics in nature and to forecast future adaptive responses to environmental stress, including climate change (Orsini et al, 2013 TREE).

Dr Orsini is currently recruiting postdoctoral researchers in biostatistics and bioinformatics. Researchers recruited will be working in a highly multidisciplinary research that bridges "omics" technologies, modeling, evolutionary biology and paleogenomics.

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