ASSEMBLE PLUS & FEMS Grant – project at University of Ghent, Belgium

September – December 2020. TurtleBIOME PhD student Klara Filek visited Laboratory of Protistology & Aquatic Ecology at University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium where she had conducted her project: „Diatom interactions in the sea turtle epizoic biofilm – EpiDiaInter“ with the support of  ASSEMBLE Plus. as well as the project supported by FEMS Research and Training Grant „Unveiling microbial relationships within the sea turtle epizoic biofilm – diatom-bacteria interactions“

You can watch her project presentation and learn more of her work in the video: 

Metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and multi’omics for microbial community studies – online course

June 1-5, 2020. TurtleBIOME PhD student Klara Filek participated in the advanced bioinformatics course organized by Physalia Courses, Freie University of Berlin, Germany with the main focus on the analysis of meta’omic sequencing data of microbial communities, from the processing of raw sequencing data to statistical analysis of microbial community composition and result visualization (course details).

Group photo of Klara with other course participants – learning in the times of pandemics

Symposium of doctoral students PMF University of Zagreb, Croatia

28.02.2020. Klara Filek  presented her work at the Symposium of doctoral students organized at the Faculty of Science; University of Zagreb: “Polifazni pristup identifikaciji i karakterizaciji epibiotskih dijatomeja s glavatih želvi iz Jadranskog mora (in Croatian)” eng. Polyphasic approach to identification and characterization of epibiotic diatoms associated with loggerhead turtles from the Adriatic Sea (link)

Seventh European Phycological Congress, Zagreb, Croatia

August 25-30, 2019. Sunčica Bosak along with our collaborator Matt P. Ashworth, presented several aspects of the TurtleBIOME project in oral lectures (Bosak: Metagenomic characterization of the surface biofilm on Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtles; Ashworth: On the shoulders of giants: what epizoic diatoms can teach us about diatom evolution), while PhD student Klara Filek presented poster on Comparative analysis of the epibiotic diatom assemblage on loggerhead sea turtles in pre- and posthospitalization period and collaborator Bart Van de Vijver attended with a poster on Discoveries of new diatom taxa associated with loggerhead sea turtles in the Adriatic Sea.  Conference details can be found on the following link.

Sixth Croatian Botanical Symposium, Zagreb Croatia

30.08. – 01.09.2019 MSc student Lucija Kanjer had an oral presentation of her work entitled: Diatom genus Poulinea as epibiont on adriatic loggerhead seaturtles,

1st International Conference of the European College of Veterinary Microbiology, Athens, Greece

26.-27.09.2019. Our collaborator Adriana Trotta had presented the results of her work partially conducted in our laboratory as a poster presentation named: Sea turtles as sentinel species of the Mediterranean sea: Isolation of ESBL producing bacteria

Seminar: Marine pollution and TurtleBIOME project. What about Caretta caretta future? Bari, Italy


June 21, 2019. The students and faculty members of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Bari, Italy, enjoyed hearing about the diatoms on loggerhead turtles from TurtleBIOME project leader Sunčica Bosak. The visit, which included an invited talk and sampling of diatoms from the turtle Reti in Bari Turtle Hospital, was a part of a long and fruitful collaboration between Dr Adriana Trotta, prof. Marialaura Corrente and Dr Sunčica Bosak. Three lectures can be viewed on the TurtleBIOME Youtube channel.


The molecular life of diatoms, Norwich, UK

July 14-18, 2019. Sunčica Bosak and Klara Filek attended the renowned EMBO workshop on molecular biology of diatoms. They presented the new findings from TurtleBIOME project with posters entitled “DNA metabarcoding and morphological analyses of the diatom biofilm associated with loggerhead sea turtles in the Mediterranean Sea”


Klara and Sunčica at the EMBO workshop

and “A polyphasic approach for identification of epibiotic diatoms associated with loggerhead sea turtles in the Adriatic Sea”. The conference details and abstract book can be found on link and link, respectively.

Klara received the 2nd prize for the best poster presentation

12th Central European Diatom Congress, Belvaux, Luksemburg

26.03.- 27.03.2019 Suncica Bosak participated in the diatomist meeting and presented the poster entitled: New observations on some sea turtle associated Craspedostauros species


DNAqua-Net: “DNA based diatom biomonitoring” training school

11-15.02.2019. Hrvoje Višić, PhD student attended the diatom metabarcoding training in France. The program consisted of the theoretical part, explaining the pipeline for diatom samples processing from sampling to bioinformatics, and a practical part where participants applied the gained knowledge starting from the field sampling on the rocks of Geneva lake through the DNA extraction and high throughput sequencing on Illumina MiSeq platform to processing of obtained data and statistics. 

Diatom specimen culturing

Science in a Cold Paradise – popular lecture

October 30, 2018. Prof. Bart Van de Vijver from the Botanical Garden in Meise and the University of Antwerp, Belgium visited TurtleBIOME project at the Department of Biology of the University of Zagreb where he held a lecture titled “Science in a Cold Paradise”. The presentation was held within the regular lectures of the Croatian Botanical Society.  The entire lecture is available on the TurtleBIOME Youtube channel

6th Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles

October 16 – 19 2018. Romana Gračan and Sunčica Bosak participated on the 6th Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles held in Poreč, Croatia.

At the conference, the project with its international collaborations was presented with a postal announcement “Loggerhead sea turtle microbiome – TURTLEBIOME project: Insight into endozoic and epizoic communities.

First results were presented with the poster entitled “Epizoic diatoms associated with the neck skin of adriatic loggerhead seaturtle”

At the conference, a new collaboration emerged between TurtleBIOME team and two groups of experts and enthusiasts working with sea turtles in the Mediterranean Sea; LIFE Euroturtles project, which aims to improve the conservation status of the EU populations of sea turtles as a joint effort between Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Slovenia, and the ARCHELON – the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece which aims at the protection of sea turtles and their habitats.


Ocean Optics XXIV in Dubrovnik

October 07 – 12, 2018 Hrvoje Višić,  PhD student, participated at the Ocean Optics XXIV conference held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, with a poster presentation “Multilayer approach to plankton analyzes in contrasting trophic systems of North Pacific”.

The poster summary is available at following link.


International Diatom Symposium Berlin

June 25 – 30, 2018 Maja Mucko and Sunčica Bosak participated on the 25th International Diatom Symposium in Berlin, Germany with a total of 6 press releases, of which 4 presented a new discoveries related to sea turtles diatoms (book of abstracts is available on the following link).

We are exceptionally proud of Maju Mucko who won the third prize for the best oral presentation at the press conference:

1. Mucko, Maja; Bosak, Sunčica; Nakov, Theophilus; Ruck, Elizabeth; Gligora Udovič, Marija; Ljubešić, Zrinka “Planktonic lifestyle lovers”: a story of eight new marine Entomoneis species. p. 119-119 (lecture)

2. Bosak, Sunčica; Majewska, Roksana; Frankovich, Thomas A.; Ashworth, Matt P.; Van de Vijver, Bart New Proschkinia species associated with sea turtles. // Abstracts of the 25th International Diatom Symposium / Kusber, W.-H. ; Abarca, N. ; Van, A. L. ; Jahn, R (ur.). Berlin: Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, 2018. str. 23-23 (poster)

3. Van de Vijver, Bart; Bosak, Suncica A new epizoic Olifantiella species found on loggerhead sea turtles. str. 177-177 (poster)

4. Majewska, Roksana; Van de Vijver, Bart; Frankovich, Thomas A.; Ashworth, Matt P.; Sullivan, Michael; Bosak, Suncica Morphological variations in sea turtle-associated “gomphonemoid” diatoms. str. 105-105 (poster)

5. Krzywda, Marta; Kaleli, Aydın; Solak, Cüneyt; Bosak, Suncica; Car, Ana; Jasprica, Nenad; Witkowski, Andrzej The influence of sea turtles on the biogeography of marine diatoms based on a case study from the Mediterranean coasts.  str. 88-88 (poster)

6. Mucko, Maja; Bosak, Sunčica; Mann, David G.; Trobajo, Rosa; Wetzel, Carlos; Peharec Štefanić, Petra; Ljubešić, Zrinka Novel clades of intriguing Nitzschia species from marine plankton str. 118-118 (poster)