Disputation: Eva Lena Fjeld Estensmo

PhD candidate Eva Lena Fjeld Estensmo at the Department of Biosciences will be defending the thesis "The diversity and seasonality of the indoor mycobiome" for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor.

Profile picture of Eva Lena Fjeld Estensmo

Eva Lena Fjeld Estensmo. Photo: private. 

The disputation will be live streamed using Zoom. The host of the session will moderate the technicalities while the chair of the defence will moderate the disputation.

Ex auditorio questions: The chair of the defence will invite the audience to ask ex auditorio questions either written or oral. This can be requested by clicking "Participants" followed by clicking "Raise hand". 

The meeting opens for participation just before 1.15 PM, and closes for new participants approximately 15 minutes after the defense has begun.

Trial lecture 

Health promoting indoor mycobiome – avoiding the bad, promoting the good?

Main research findings

Our houses and buildings harbor a range of microorganisms, including fungi. Indoor fungal communities, referred to as the indoor mycobiome, can vary significantly in different geographic regions and for different seasons. In her Phd thesis, Eva Lena Estensmo investigated the fungal diversity and seasonality, to improve our understanding of the indoor mycobiome in Norway.

One approach to investigate the indoor mycobiome is through DNA metabarcoding, which is based on high throughput DNA sequencing of markers that can discriminate between species. The ITS2 region is the common marker for fungi. However, this marker may include considerable variation within species, which can lead to an over-estimation of the fungal diversity. Therefore, Estensmo assessed the effects of this sequence variation within species in DNA metabarcoding. By analyzing different populations of fungal species, she concluded that a clustering step is needed in metabarcoding studies of fungal communities.

In order to improve the knowledge of the indoor air quality, Estensmo analyzed the indoor mycobiome in private homes and daycare centers in Norway using a citizen science approach. Citizen scientists collected dust samples from doorframes from different house compartments. The fungal community were investigated by DNA metabarcoding, and were clearly different indoors and outdoors, but also between daycares and private homes. One main trend was that far more yeasts were present in kindergartens, while more molds appeared in private houses.

At last, she investigated the seasonal effects on the indoor mycobiomes in two daycares. Dust samples were collected throughout a year and DNA metabarcoded. The fungal community composition was linked to occupancy and seasonality, and she concluded that seasonality should be accounted for in indoor mycobiome studies and in evaluations of indoor air quality.

Department of Biosciences

Published June 10, 2021 12:08 PM - Last modified Feb. 4, 2022 1:18 PM