I am passionate about solving issues related to biofilms and biofouling for industry applications and ecological restoration. I use molecular-based and microscopy techniques to characterise the microbiological complexities of biofilms. My specific focus is on developing collaborations with like-minded academics, industry partners and government agencies to work jointly on these issues. In 2018, I created the Biofilm Research & Innovation Consortium which was successful at securing external funding support from industry partners. Building on FUBRIC, I am now the Director of an ARC Industry Transformation Training Centre (ITTC) on Biofilm Research & Innovation. This centre focuses on the training of PhD students and ECRs in biofilm research in a collaborative environment that actively involves industry partner organisations.
I joined Flinders University in 2006 as a postdoctoral researcher to work on the ecology of the Coorong wetlands, focusing on the impact of environmental change on microbial and plankton communities. I took on a Lecturer position at Flinders University in 2008 and furthered my research on the adaptation of plankton to salinity fluctuations with an ARC through a Discovery Project.
I was the deputy node leader of SA-IMOS (South Australian Node of IMOS (Integrated Marine Observing System)) for 2009-2015, leading the biological program of SA-IMOS. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer (2013) and developped my research on the impact of microbial communities in the biofouling of desalination plants which was funded by the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination - Australia (NCEDA).
I became Associate Professor in 2016 and joined the Flinders Institute for Nanoscale Science & Technology, a collaborative group working on sustainable problems at the nanometre scale. While most of my research currently focuses on biofilms, I also continue working with governmental agencies to tackle issues related to microplastic pollution.
Marine National Facility (MNF) - sea time on RV Investigator since 2019 - Microplastic in the food chain: impact on microbial and planktonic organisms
Visiting Professor (Universite de Toulon & USTL, France) 2018
ACSR-YSEP Fellowship (IOCAS Qingdao, China) 2014, 2015
Visiting Research Fellowship (Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology) 2007
FR3CE Visiting Scholar Fellowship (Flinders University) 2006-2007
Selected Recent Major Grants
DEW (SA) Waycott, Leterme et al., Investigating the drivers and controls of filamentous algae and restoration of aquatic plants in the Coorong (2019-2022)
Defence Innovation Partnership (DIP) Collaborative Research Fund, Andersson, Leterme et al., Develop and test active coatings to prevent the growth of unwanted organisms on marine surface (2019-2021)
Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) Research Award ALNGRA15036 Leterme (2014), ALNGRA14027 Leterme & Popelka-Filcoff (2013)
BP funded GAB Science Plan - Project Proposal2.1.Van Ruth, Leterme et al.(2013-2017)
Integrated Marine Observing System - Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme (IMOS–CRIS) Middleton, Leterme et al., ANMN–SAIMOS Mooring sub-facility, Shelf and slope moorings, field surveys and associated analyses to produce data streams (2013)
National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia PhD Scholarship - JUN 2012
National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia PhD Scholarship -
Scientific Reports – Nature
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