Dr. Subhajit Basu 

Dr. Subhajit Basu 

Associate Professor 

Profile Summary

Dr. Subhajit Basu is an environmental microbiologist with specialization in aquatic/marine microbiology and biogeochemistry. Subhajit’s research addresses complex microbial interactions from diverse and extreme environments, microbial ecophysiology, role in nutrient cycling and harnessing microbial metabolites for societal benefits. Following his Master’s in Microbiology from Bangalore University, Subhajit diversified into a highly interdisciplinary area of biological oceanography at the National Institute of Oceanography (CSIR-India), Goa. Here, he worked on prestigious international collaborative projects, such as the Indo-US collaborative project on ‘Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem of the Arabian Sea’ and Space-Application Centre (ISRO) funded projects on oceanic harmful algal blooms. Subhajit earned his doctoral degree in Microbiology from Goa University (2014) for his work on the Microbial ecology of phytoplankton blooms of the Arabian Sea and their biogeochemical implications. Subhajit’s research has been published in front-line journals, and he has presented his work at numerous conferences – in India and abroad. As a field microbiologist with vast experience of ~15 years, Subhajit loves to explore diverse and extreme environments to study novel microbes. At UPES, Dehradun, Subhajit is working on microbial ecophysiology of unique high-altitude Himalayan ecosystems and presently guiding 4 PhD students.

Work Experience

Prior to joining UPES, Subhajit was working as Scientist at the prestigious Max Planck Institute of Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany (2020-2022). Subhajit moved on to join Max Planck as a scientist following his successful stint (2014 – 2020) as a post-doctoral researcher working with renowned biogeochemist Prof. Yeala Shaked at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and Interuniversity Institute of Marine Sciences in Eilat, where he continues to be a visiting scientist.

Research Interests

Subhajit’s research addresses how diverse microorganisms in their natural settings strive to obtain limiting nutrition, such as trace metals, impacts of microbial ecophysiology on elemental cycling, microbial remediation of pollutants, algal / plant-bacterial interactions, extremophiles and bioprospecting of novel microbial metabolites. Subhajit is adept at using sophisticated tracer assays (stable and radioisotopes), molecular techniques, advanced imaging, and omics to tease apart the functional complexity of microbial interactions.

Teaching Philosophy

Subhajit’s teaching philosophy is grounded in encouraging student learning through interactive classroom lessons and tutorials in order to integrate complicated concepts of planetary biogeochemistry with microorganisms as a central player and their importance in shaping our environment, climate, and health. He likes to present concepts in a simple, lucid language to encourage students to learn and ignite the passion of curiosity to explore the natural world. He loves to design thought experiments in classrooms in order to orient young undergraduates towards scientific research.

Courses Taught

Environmental Microbiology and Biogeochemistry, Microbial Physiology and Metabolism, Agricultural Microbiology and Plant Pathology, Probiotics and Prebiotics,

Awards and Grants

  • PBC-Israel Fellowship for Outstanding Postdoctoral Researchers from India (2014-2017)
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (2017 – 2019)
  • EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) Fellowship (2016)
  • ASSEMBLE+ fellowship for research at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (2022)
  • SAC ISRO fellowship for project assistants at NIO, Goa (2007 – 2010)
  • Early career Researcher award to present at Xiamen Symposium on Marine Environmental Sciences (XMAS-IV 2019), Xiamen, China

Scholarly Activities

Subhajit has presented his research work in numerous conferences in India and abroad. He is a review editor of Frontiers in Microbiology, Scientific Reports, Process Biochemistry, and Current Microbiology. He is a professional member of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) and the Geological Society of India (GSI). During his stay at Max Planck, Subhajit was engaged in teaching Fe biogeochemistry for the M.Sc. / Ph.D. graduate program of International Max Planck Research School of Marine Microbiology (MarMic). Subhajit has so far actively mentored ~10 undergraduate students, and 2 master's students. Presently, he is guiding 4 PhD students.
His selected publications are as below:

  • Van Erk M, Bourceau, Moncada C, Basu S, Hansel CM, Beer DD (2023) Reactive oxygen species affect the potential for mineralization processes in permeable intertidal flats. Nature Communications 14:938, doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-35818-4
  • Shaked Y, Beer DD, Wang S, Zhang F, Visser AN, Eichner M, Basu S (2023) Co-acquisition of mineral-bound iron and phosphorus by natural Trichodesmium colonies. Limnology and Oceanography 9999:1-14
  • Koedooder C, Zhang F, Wang S, Basu S, Berman-Frank I, Shaked Y (2022). Metagenomes of Red Sea subpopulations challenge the use of morphology and marker genes to assess Trichodesmium diversity. Frontiers in Microbiology 13:879970
  • Kessler N, Armoza-Zvuloni E, Wang S, Basu S, Weber PK, Stuart RK, Shaked Y (2020) Selective Collection of Iron-Rich Dust Particles by Natural Trichodesmium colonies. The ISME Journal 14(1): 91-103
  • Gledhill M, Basu S, Shaked Y (2020) Metallophones associated with Trichodesmium erythraeum colonies from the Gulf of Aqaba. Metallomics 11: 1547-1557.
  • Eichner M, Basu S, Wang S, Beer D, Shaked Y (2020) Mineral iron dissolution in Trichodesmium colonies: The role of O2 and pH microenvironments. Limnology and Oceanography 65(6): 1149-1160
  • Basu S, Gledhill M, Beer D, Matondkar SGP, Shaked Y (2019) Colonies of marine cyanobacteria Trichodesmium interact with associated bacteria to acquire iron from dust. Communications Biology 2:284 4; https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-019-0534-z
  • Eichner M, Basu S, Gledhill M, Beer D, Shaked Y (2019) Hydrogen Dynamics in Trichodesmium Colonies and Their Potential Role in Mineral Iron Acquisition. Frontiers in Microbiology 10:1565
  • Basu S, Shaked Y (2018) Mineral iron utilization by natural and cultured Trichodesmium and associated bacteria. Limnology and Oceanography 63(6): 2307-2320
  • Gomes HdoR, Goes JI, Matondkar SGP, Buskey EJ, Basu S, Parab S, Thoppil P (2014) Massive outbreaks of Noctiluca scintillans bloom in the Arabian Sea due to spread of hypoxia. Nature Communications 5:4862
  • Basu S, Deobagkar DD, Matondkar SGP, Furtado I (2013) Culturable bacterial associated with the dinoflagellate green Noctiluca miliaris during active and declining bloom phases in the Northern Arabian Sea. Microbial Ecology 65(4): 934-954
  • Basu S, Matondkar SGP, Furtado I. Retrieved bacteria from Noctiluca miliaris (green) bloom of the Northeastern Arabian Sea (2013) Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology 31(1):10-20
  • Basu S, Matondkar SGP, Furtado I (2011) Enumeration of bacteria from a Trichodesmium spp. bloom of the eastern Arabian Sea: elucidation of their possible role in biogeochemistry. Journal of Applied Phycology 23(2): 309-319