David Singer, born 1985 in Switzerland, did his Bachelor in Biology (2005-2008) at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. There he continued with his Master’s degree in Biogeosciences from 2009-2011. In 2012 he started his PhD at the Laboratory of Soil Biodiversity at the University of Neuchâtel under supervision of Edward Mitchell. With the thesis title “A molecular approach to microeukaryotic diversity, ecology and biogeography associated with Sphagnum mosses” he covered a broad spectrum of topics including peatland ecology, forensic ecology, biogeography, limnology and parasitology. The combination of classical protistology, morphological observation, DNA barcoding and HTS and bioinformatics and his great effort during his PhD resulted in the publication of 11 papers. His research areas include soil biodiversity, communities and ecosystems ecology. His ongoing projects focus on metabarcoding and phylogeny of microeukaryotes to understand ecological interactions and biogeographical patterns.
Kenneth Dumack, born 1990 in Germany, started his scientific career at the University of Cologne, Germany. In his Bachelor studies (2009-2012), he started to explore diversity of soil protists. He developed his interests and deepened his focus on soil microbial communities in his Master studies (2012-2014), which he conducted in the University of Cologne including a stay abroad in Sina Adl’s lab at the University of Saskatchewan. He conducted his PhD thesis with the title “Novel lineages in Cercozoa and their feeding strategies” in the Terrestrial Ecology (University of Cologne) under supervision of Michael Bonkowski. He established a stable taxonomic framework of thecofilosean amoebae, including the description of three new families, three new genera and nine new species. Despite his young career he already published 16 scientific articlesAfter he finished his thesis, he used this expertise to successfully conduct environmental high throughput sequencing of Cercozoa, he received a scholarship to study single cell transcriptomics in the lab of Daniel Lahr in São Paulo.