Anan Ibrahim

Research Project A1: A paleolimno-metagenomic exploration of Lake Constance sediments: ancient DNA records of environmental change

Research Interests

I am interested in studying the effects of environmental change as a result of human activity and of course climate change on different aspects of life. My interest in the environment was piqued through news and magazines in which the adverse effect of human footprint were portrayed and how people are turning a blind eye, even though the signs are everywhere around us. Thankfully, this has shifted my focus from pursuing a pharmaceutical career to a more exciting field; environmental metagenomics. Hence, my current four year research project where I am able to pursue my interests in a hopefully non-invasive manner.

The project aims to investigate the biotic and climate change impact on the microbial community of lake Constance. Due to the strategic position of lake Konstanz, it is has been found that it acts as one of the basins to most pre-alpine lakes. Lake Konstanz was used to be classified as an oligotrophic lake until the emerge of the 1950s industrial era that was accompanied by a boom in the phosphorus content of the lake and thus turning it into a eutrophic lake. This in turn triggered a response from surrounding countries in the 70s to take action and limit the release of phosphorus into the water. The lake has since turned oligotrophic once again, and remained such since then.

Therefore, we are interested to trace back eutrophication and re-oligotrophication of the lake throughout that period by studying the paleontology of the sediment through the use of metagenomics. It is hypothesized that due to the nearly perfect stratification of the sediment layers we can study the past local and invasive microbial eukaryotic flora dynamics throughout the past 60 years and beyond. This is to be accomplished using historical DNA and all precautions associated with it.


Ph.D. in Life Science
University of Konstanz – Germany
Research Topic: ‘‘The study of environmental change affecting Lake Constance using historical meta- and paleo- genomic data’’

M.Sc. in Biotechnology
University of Edinburgh – United Kingdom
Research topic: “Environmental contamination assessment in a farm with Johne’s Disease (JD) cases”

B.Sc. Pharmacy and Biotechnology - Biotechnology
German University in Cairo – Egypt
Research topic: “Determining the effect of Pyrazolines as allosteric inhibitors of PKC zeta on regulation of NF-kB and p53 expression using A549 cells’’


10 2017-Current
Teaching assistant for Evolutionary biology course.
University of Konstanz - Germany

10-12/ 2016
Visiting staff for further analysis of environmental microbiome data and to teach microbiome analysis techniques/skills using rumen and deer faecal samples.
University of Edinburgh – United Kingdom

25/9-29/9 2016
Participation by poster “The assessment of environmental contamination in a farm infected with JD”
Conference: Functional Metagenomics 2016
Trondheim – Norway

3-4/ 2014
Participated in a general molecular biology and genetic engineering diploma.
SIRA Corp. and The National Research Centre – Egypt

6-8/ 2013
Participated in a summer internship in fermentation and bioprocess engineering at the Institute of Bioproduct Development.
University Technology Malaysia – Malaysia

3/ 2013
Participated by a talk on ; “Techniques for fabricating and constructing 3D scaffolds for tissue engineering” and awarded First poster prize.
Conference: Soul Symposium
Cairo University - Egypt