Photo of Igor S Pessi
  • PL 56 (Viikinkaari 9)




Research output per year

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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

I am a microbiologist specialized in the molecular ecology of polar microbial communities. I have a MSc degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS, Brazil), and a PhD in Sciences from the University of Liège (ULiège, Belgium). I am currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki (UH, Finland).

I have been fascinated with the Polar Regions since my undergraduate studies in Brazil. I was very surprised by how little we know about the microbial communities thriving in cold environments, especially if we acknowledge their vital contribution to global climate and biogeochemical cycles. I first had the chance to work with polar microbial ecology during my master’s studies. Under the supervision of Dr. Alexandre Macedo from the Laboratory of Biofilms and Microbial Diversity (UFRGS), I investigated the functional and taxonomic diversity of microbial communities in soil, water and snow from King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula. After obtaining my MSc degree, I decided to continue my studies abroad. My PhD studies were carried out in the Cyanobacteria group (ULiège) under the supervision of Dr. Annick Wilmotte, and focused on the study of the diversity and ecology of cyanobacteria in a range of Arctic and Antarctic environments.

I have now been working since 2018 as a post-doctoral researcher in the Arctic Microbial Ecology group (UH) led by Dr. Jenni Hultman. Our research mainly focuses on the application of state-of-the art molecular ecology techniques (metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and single-cell sequencing) to the study of microbial communities in Arctic soil. You can read more about our research here.

Fields of Science

  • 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
  • 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.


Marked Succession of Cyanobacterial Communities Following Glacier Retreat in the High Arctic: Microbial Ecology

Pessi, I. S., Pushkareva, E., Lara, Y., Borderie, F., Wilmotte, A. & Elster, J., 2019, In : Microbial Ecology. 77, 1, p. 136-147 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Community structure and distribution of benthic cyanobacteria in Antarctic lacustrine microbial mats

Pessi, I. S., Lara, Y., Durieu, B., Maalouf, P. D. C., Verleyen, E. & Wilmotte, A., May 2018, In : FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 94, 5, 13 p., 042.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Changing Climate Alters Microbial Community Function In Arctic Regions

Hultman, J., Viitamäki, S. & Pessi, I. S.

Helsingin yliopisto


Project: University of Helsinki Three-Year Research Project


  • 4 Oral presentation
  • 1 Organisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars
  • 1 Academic visit to other institution

Medical University Graz

Sirja Viitamäki (Visiting researcher), & Igor S Pessi (Visiting researcher)

10 Apr 201918 Apr 2019

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesAcademic visit to other institution

Meta-omics investigation of soil communities in the Finnish Arctic tundra

Igor S Pessi (Speaker)

8 Feb 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

3rd Conference on Ecology of Soil Microorganisms

Igor S Pessi (Poster Presentation)

13 Jun 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars