Breaking down the microbiology world one bite at a time

About us

The co-founders

Anaïs Biclot, MSc | Manager-Administrator

I am from France and I am currently doing a PhD at the KULeuven in Belgium in microbiology studying how bacteria interact in a human gut community. I’m fascinated by bacterial interactions and how they function as an ecosystem in different environments and how they are impacting our environment and health. Microscopic organisms are everywhere though they cannot be seen, and I hope with MicroBites we can put some light on them.

When not in the lab I love watching series and movies, I also like cooking/baking and hiking.

Tanine Daryoush, MSc | Manager-Administrator

I am an American PhD student conducting research on the gut microbiome and inflammation. I have always been intrigued by our microscopic residents and neighbors. I want to learn more about them and understand what makes a good micro-tenant. I’m a fervent believer in communicating science in a way that is accessible to all and hope to do that here on MicroBites!  

When I am not researching, I am swimming, playing tennis, doing yoga, reading, or trying and failing several crafts. In non-COVID times I travel and sing in a choir.

Clémence Joseph, MSc | Website manager

I am a PhD student in bioinformatic specialized in modelisation of microorganism based on their genetic information. I am from France and studied biology and bioinformatics there. I’m now doing my PhD in Belgium at the KULeuven and I am interested in predicting bacterial interactions (cooperation, competition…) thanks to mathematical models. My knowledge in informatics also helped me design the MicroBites website. The rest of my time, when I’m not with friends, I’m practicing piano, drawing and doing Rollers.

Charlotte van de Velde, MSc | Manager-Administrator

I’m originally from the Netherlands, where I studied Microbial Biotechnology & Health and Science Communication at Leiden University. I now live in Belgium where I am doing a PhD at the KU Leuven. Currently I’m working on a topic in microbial ecology, trying to unravel the interactions between different gut bacteria. While I love to see how such tiny organisms can form big (and important!) communities which can be used for many applications, I also love to share my knowledge and enthusiasm about this subject. So this website is a good way to combine both :-).

If I am not working in the lab, you can find me dancing salsa or riding my racing bike though the beautiful nature in the area.

The contributors

Tess Deyett, PhD | Writer

I am a bioinformatician under the guidance of Dr. Philippe Rolshausen at the University of California Riverside studying plant-microbe interactions with a primary interest in sustainable agriculture. I also serve as the assistant feature editor for Phytobiomes Journal and Plant-Microbe Interactions while managing my own podcast (The Microbe Moment) and blog ( I aspire to share how microbes are a constant force of good to every person and that everyone has many microbe moments to share with the world!

Olivia Duddy, MSc | Writer

I am a fourth-year PhD student in Molecular Biology at Princeton University. My research interests lie at the intersection of chemistry and microbiology. I study quorum sensing and interkingdom signaling in the bacterial pathogen Vibrio cholerae and a V. cholerae-infecting virus. Outside of the lab, I enjoy reading and writing, and playing cards.

Mathias Bonal, MSc | Writer-Translator

I am a 4th year PhD student in applied microbiology at Université Libre de Bruxelles. I am also passionate about science in general and very interested in popularization of science. That led me to regularly contribute on Wikipedia, organize (and sometimes give) conferences plus writing blog posts for a scientific skepticism association. All with the same goal: try to make science as much accessible as possible for the public!

My projects (FR): Comité Para, La petite vie nulle des intellos

Yohann Geraldes | Translator

I am an undergraduate student in Bioengineering. I like learning new things and I’m curious about pretty much everything. Translating allows me to learn more about microbiology. I enjoy hiking and discovering new places.

Steven Pilon, MSc | Translator

I’m a biochemist born and raised in The Netherlands. My aim at MicroBites is to show that science isn’t all that hard – it’s an everlasting source of wonder. Which is easier to see if there’s no heap of oddly specific details and/or a paywall between you and the information 😉

Santiago Chaillou, BSc | Translator

I’m an Argentinian PhD student at KU Leuven, Belgium. After finishing my Licenciatura in Biotechnology studies in Argentina, I worked for four years in R&D developing biomedical products using microbiology. Currently, I’m attempting to move aside from my beloved microbiology to join the dark forces of synbio.

When I’m not at the lab, you can find me playing the guitar at home, drinking ‘mate’ in a park, or trying to write some poetry.

Maria Martynova, BSc | Writer-Translator

My name is Maria, and I live in New Jersey, USA. I graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in microbiology. After spending many years doing research in the lab, I decided to switch gears and focus on writing about science. My goal is to become a scientific journalist, someone who will make science fun and accessible to those who want to learn more about the world. As a part of the MicroBites team, I am responsible for setting up the version of this website in Russian. In addition, I am planning on publishing my own articles, so if you are interested in learning about environmental microbiology, stay tuned! 🙂
When I am not writing, I love spending time in nature, either by myself or with my friends. I also love baking and painting.”

Julie Starkey, BSc | Writer

I am a current graduate student at Colorado State University studying microbiology. My Master’s thesis focuses on genetic elements known as Toxin-Antitoxin Systems in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and how they contribute topathogenesis during infection. I am continually fascinated by infectious diseases and the molecular intricacies of microbial virulence. When I’m not running experiments, I am mentoring students and teaching others about the incredible microbial world around us. Outside of the lab, you will likely find me cooking, playing videogames, and spending time with my cats. 

Guest authors: