Christophe Paul


Office A221

Phone: +41 32 718 22 57



Research interests


My research interests belong to the fields of microbial ecology and geomicrobiology. Studying the relationship between bacteria and their environment is of great interest since bacteria have colonized all ecosystems and play a key role in biogeochemical cycles; bacterial activity is the foundation of ecosystem functioning.

My PhD thesis focuses on the spore-forming bacteria and spore-like structures. As a first objective, we aimed to assess the possible use of spores for paleoecological studies, proposing a new powerful tool for the study of ecosystem history and the assessment of ecosystem health. We also investigated the possible use of spores as a biological marker for tracking antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the environment. Because of its high dispersal rate and increased survival, the spores might represent key organisms for the persistence and dissemination of ARGs in the environment.



Education and professional experience


From Sept. 2015: PhD in microbiology

University of Neuchâtel, laboratory of microbiology

Thesis title: « Spore-forming bacteria as a proxy for the reconstruction of past environment and possible use for the detection of antibiotic resistance genes in the environment ».


2014-2015: Scientific collaborator in microbiology/Laboratory technician

                                                  University of Neuchâtel, laboratory of microbiology and laboratory of soil biology

Research projects: The use of endospore-forming bacteria as new environmental proxies for paleoecology, detection/quantification of antibiotic resistance genes in natural environments, identification of Phytophthora spp. from soil samples using next generation sequencing.


                                                  2011-2012: Laboratory technician

University of Neuchâtel, laboratory of soil biology,.

Research projects: Identification and clonality of Saprolegnia parasitica pathogenic of the Doubs fish populations, phylogeny/barcoding of oomycetes.


2007-2011: Master in Biogeoscience

University of Neuchâtel, laboratory of microbiology

Master thesis title: « Cycle biogéochimique du fer et suivi saisonnier des communautés bactériennes dans le lac du Loclat » (« Biochemical cycle of iron and saisonality of bacterial communities in Lake Loclat »).


2004-2007: Bachelor of Science in Biology

University of Neuchâtel.





Hashmi I., Paul C., Al-Dourobi A., Sandoz F., Deschamps P., Junier T., Junier P., Bindschedler S. 2019. Comparison of the plant growth promotion performance of a consortium of Bacilli inoculated as endospores or as vegetative cells. FEMS Microbiology Ecology:1–14. DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fiz147.

Paul C., Filippidou S., Jamil I., Kooli W., House GL., Estoppey A., Hayoz M., Junier T., Palmieri F., Wunderlin T., Lehmann A., Bindschedler S., Vennemann T., Chain PSG., Junier P. 2019. Bacterial spores , from ecology to biotechnology. Elsevier Inc. DOI: 10.1016/bs.aambs.2018.10.002.

Paul C.*, Bayrychenko Z.*, Junier T., Filippidou S., Beck K., Bueche M., Greub G., Bürgmann H., Junier P. 2018. Dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes associated with the sporobiota in sediments impacted by wastewater. PeerJ 6:e4989. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4989.

Madueño L.*, Paul C.*, Junier T.*, Bayrychenko Z., Filippidou S., Beck K., Greub G., Bürgmann H., Junier P. 2018. A historical legacy of antibiotic utilization on bacterial seed banks in sediments. PeerJ 6:e4197. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4197.

Wunderlin T., Junier T., Paul C., Jeanneret N., Junier P. 2016. Physical Isolation of Endospores from Environmental Samples by Targeted Lysis of Vegetative Cells. JOVE-Journal of Visualized Experiments. DOI: 10.3791/53411.

Steciow MM., Lara E., Paul C., Pillonel A., Belbahri L. 2014. Multiple barcode assessment within the Saprolegnia-Achlya clade (Saprolegniales, Oomycota, Straminipila) brings order in a neglected group of pathogens. IMA Fungus 5:439–448. DOI: 10.5598/imafungus.2014.05.02.08.


(* equal contribution of the authors)