The list of speakers with their biography and recorded sessions held during the third year of BISMiS Live are given below.

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Inaugural Session- February 18, 2023
Prof. Christa Schleper
  • Speaker: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christa Schleper, University of Vienna, AUSTRIA
  • Title of the Talk: What can Asgard Archaea tell us about the origin of eukaryotes?
  • Biosketch: Christa Schleper is professor in microbiology at the University of Vienna since 2007. She did her PhD with Wolfram Zillig, one of the pioneers in archaea research at the Max-Planck-Institute in Munich Martinsried, was a postdoc at Caltech and UC Sta. Barbara, then assistant professor at Darmstadt Technical University, Germany and professor of microbiology at the University of Bergen, Norway. She has more than 30 years of experience with archaea. Her current research involves CRISPR defense systems in hyperthermophilic Sulfolobales, ecology and metabolism of ammonia oxidizing archaea and the more recently discovered Asgard archaea. Schleper is a member of EMBO, the American Academy of Microbiology and the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In 2022 she received the Wittgenstein Award, the highest scientific recognition in Austria. She is also engaged in sustainability topics and is the main organizer of the interdisciplinary lecture series: 'Climate Change and Climate Crisis' at the University of Vienna. Her lab has founded with an aim to connect Austrian and international laboratories that share the vision of sustainable research.
  • Recorded Session: Watch Here
  • 22nd Session- March 18, 2023
    Prof. Yogesh Shouche
  • Speaker: Prof. Yogesh Shouche, Azim Premji University, INDIA
  • Title of the Talk: The National Biodiveristy Act and Problems in Describing New Taxa
  • Biosketch: Dr. Yogesh Shouche is currently working as Professor at School of Arts and Sciences at Azim Premji University, Bengluru. He started his career as scientist National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) in Pune, India. After working on different aspect of microbial, especially bacterial diversity of various ecological niches, his thrust area of research is now to understand succession of microbial communities in human gut during development and their role in health and diseases. He is working since 25 years in the field of microbial ecology, microbial molecular taxonomy and biodiversity; published more than 400 publications in journals of relevant area; reviewed publications in International journals like FEMS Ecology, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology and Microbial Ecology. He is also on Editorial board of prestigious journals like Current Science, PlosOne etc. He is fellow of Maharashtra Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy and National Academy of Sciences India.
    In 2009, he was given a responsibility of establishment of Microbial Culture Collection (MCC). It is now known as National Center for Microbial Resources (NCMR), it currently holds more than 150,000 bacteria and fungi in its collection recognized by WFCC (World Federation of Culture Collection). MCC is also recognized as International Depositary Authority (IDA) and is Designated Repository by Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Government of India under the Biological Diversity Act 2002. In September 2018, Department of Biotechnology extended the mandate of this repository to include Anti Microbial Resistant microbes.
    After successful career at NCCS for 32 years, he has joined Azim Premji University from 1st March 2022. He is associated with SKAN trust as Advisor. He is also on the member of the Executive Boards of International Society for Systematics of Prokaryotes and World Federation of Culture Collections. As a recognition of his contributions , recently a genus of has been named in his honor.
  • Recorded Session: Watch Here
  • 23rd Session- April 15, 2023
    Prof. Henrik Christensen
  • Speaker: Prof. Henrik Christensen, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen
  • Title of the Talk: Synonyms and stability of names
  • Biosketch: I have been investigating evolution and systematics of prokaryotes since 1991. The main part of my research has dealt with prokaryotic systematics and other areas have been within population genetics, soil microbiology and veterinary microbiology. The taxonomic focus has mainly been on members of Pasteurellaceae and other bacteria of clinical importance. As the chair of the International Committee of Systematics of Prokaryotes Subcommittee ICSP) on Pasteurellaceae, member of Judicial Commission of ICSP and editor of International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology I have already gained a lot of experience with prokaryotic systematics and hope to learn more in the future.
  • Lab Website:
  • Recorded Session: Watch Here
  • 24th Session- May 20, 2023
    Dr. Thomas Hitch
  • Speaker: Dr. Thomas Hitch, Universitätsklinikum Aachen, Germany
  • Title of the Talk: The world of gut microbiomes through the lens of cultivation and microbial bioinformatics.
  • Biosketch: Bachelor at the University of the West of England in Biomedical Sciences.
  • Switched to bioinformatics during my PhD at Aberystwyth University under Prof. Chris Creevey on the rumen microbiome and its impact on host methane emissions.
  • Since 2017 I have been in Aachen working at the University Hospital of RWTH Aachen, Germany, under Prof. Thomas Clavel with my research focused still on microbial communities of the gut, but instead of ruminants, humans and model species for human disease research.
  • This has involved multiple projects focused on the discovery and naming of many novel taxa, as well as the development of tools to improve our ability to describe these taxa
  • Recorded Session: Watch Here
  • 25th Session- June 17, 2023
  • Speaker: PD Dr. Markus Göker, Leibniz Institute DSMZ, Germany
  • Title of the Talk: Notes on the interpretation and application of the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes
  • Biosketch: Markus Göker works at the Leibniz Institute DSMZ – German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures in Braunschweig, a European biological resource centre and non-for-profit organization ( He participated in large-scale genome-sequencing projects – follow-up projects of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea (GEBA) – and co-developed digital DNA:DNA hybridization (, the Type Strain Genome Server (, and the Virus Classification and Tree Building Online Resource ( As curator and developer of the List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (, Secretary of the Judicial Commission of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (, co-editor of the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes ( and List Editor of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM), he is heavily involved in prokaryotic nomenclature.
  • Recorded Session: Watch Here
  • 26th Session- July 15, 2023
    Prof. Fanus Venter
  • Speaker: Prof. Fanus Venter, Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, University of Pretoria
  • Title of the Talk: The irrelevance of prokaryotic subspecies
  • Biosketch: Fanus’ primary research interests are bacterial evolution, systematics and diversity. He is specifically interested in how knowledge of these aspects of bacteriology can be applied to answer specific research questions related to the evolution and functioning of bacteria and bacterial communities in different environments. During the past few years his research group have focused on two main type of areas: 1) Bacteria associated with plants (rhizobia); 2) Aquatic environments (drinking water and salterns).
    He serves as an associate editor of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology as well as Systematic and Applied Microbiology. He is also the South African ambassador of the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME), a Council member of the Southern African Society for Systematic Biology, member of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (ICSP) and Secretary of the Executive Board of the SeqCode Committee.
  • Recorded Session: Watch Here
  • 27th Session- August 19, 2023
    Dr. Prashant Singh
  • Speaker: Dr. Prashant Singh, Department of Botany, Banaras Hindu University, India
  • Title of the Talk: Cyanobacterial taxonomy: a story of striking a balance between morphology and molecular methods
  • Biosketch: Dr. Prashant Singh has been working with the cyanobacteria as a model with special interest in the molecular systematics and phylogeny of the heterocytous clade. Some of his previous professional assignments have been with the National Centre for Cell Science, Pune and the Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic through an Indian National Science Academy Fellowship. In 2021, he was awarded the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship in Climate Change through which he worked at the John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio.
    In the past few years, his lab has been testing and fine-tuning the polyphasic approach on cyanobacteria isolated from different habitats across India and other parts of the world. With active collaborations with many colleagues, his group’s work has resulted into the discovery and recreation of one new family and several new genera and species of cyanobacteria from different parts of the world.
  • Recorded Session: Watch Here
  • 28th Session- September 16, 2023
    Dr. Giovanna Felis
  • Speaker: Dr. Giovanna Felis, Department of Biotechnology, University of Verona, Italy
  • Title of the Talk: Taxonomic revaluation of the “old” genus Lactobacillus: a boost for research and innovation
  • Biosketch: PhD in agro-industrial biotechnology in 2004; since 2014 Associate professor of microbiology at the Department of Biotechnology of the University of Verona, Italy.
    Since 2018, Deputy chairperson of the Subcommittee on taxonomy of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and related organisms.
    2023 International Science Award for Mid-Career Senior Researcher for “Outstanding Excellence in Lactic Acid Bacteria research with an Industrial Relevance” from the Lactic Acid Bacteria Industrial Platform (
  • Recorded Session: Watch Here
  • 29th Session- October 21, 2023
    Prof. William Whitman
  • Speaker: Prof. William Whitman, Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia
  • Title of the Talk: An update on the SeqCode
  • Biosketch: I received my Ph.D from The University of Texas at Austin studying autotrophy in phototrophic bacteria in 1978. Since then, my research has focused on the physiology, systematics and ecology of environmentally important microorganisms. Of special interest is to understand the complete organism, from the biochemical mechanisms it uses to accomplish its day-to-day tasks of living to its interactions with other organisms and its environment. In this context, my work has focused on the methane-producing archaeon Methanococcus, DMSP metabolism in the marine bacterium Ruegeria, and the soil microbiome. I also served as an associate editor of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 1995-2001; Supervising Editor of Bergey’s Manual of Systematics of Archaea and Bacteria, 2006-2019; Treasurer of International Committee for Systematics of Prokaryotes, 2014-2000; and Treasurer of Bergey’s International Society for Microbial Systematics, 2010-2020.
  • Recorded Session: Watch Here
  • 30th Session- December 16, 2023
    Prof. Aharon Oren
  • Speaker: Prof. Aharon Oren, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • Title of the Talk: Nomenclature of Cyanobacteria: A tale of two nomenclature codes
  • Biosketch: Aharon did his Masters in Biochemistry and Microbiology at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, then moved to Israel for PhD (1979) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 1982 to 1984, he completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and then served as a faculty member of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem until his retirement in 2022. He is the Executive Secretary and past Chair of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (ICSP); Editor-in-Chief for the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes; and Editor for International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, FEMS Microbiology Letters, Systematic and Applied Microbiology, Extremophiles, and more. He received honorary doctorates from the University of Osnabrück (Germany), the Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic), the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), and Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca (Romania). He is the 2020 recipient of the Bergey Award.
  • Recorded Session: Click Here

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