Chris Barnes


My motivation is to study plants and microbes within their environmental settings. I particularly like utilising new sequencing tools with complex statistical approaches to provide fresh new insights into ecosystems. I am particularly interested in i) studying the chemical variation of plants (such as anti-herbivore compounds). I am also particularly interested in ii) understanding the environmental regulation of plants and their associated microbiomes (the bacteria, fungi and other microbes that interact with the plant) while iii) determining if observed community shifts will effect the functioning of the microbiome too. A short video of my work can be found here.

I obtained my PhD in Environmental Sciences in 2014 from the University of Warwick, where I studied the ecology of root-associated fungi under Professor Gary Bending. Since then, I moved to Copenhagen where I worked with Professor Nina Rønsted at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, studying many different aspects of plant biology. Now I currently work as an assistant professor at the GLOBE Institute within the University of Copenhagen. Here I am linking host genomes (plants, wolves, humans) with functional shifts in the microbial communities (profiled with shotgun metagenomics).

Within the Plant.ID project, I am co-supervisor to Nataly Canales. I will assist Nataly in extracting DNA from ancient Cinchona bark samples and in analysing her sequencing data.