Céline C. Michiels

Graduated from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, I studied the microbial communities from Lake Kivu, a stratified lake from East Africa. I got into the complexity of the N-cycle while reviewing the metabolic capacity of these communities. I started my PhD at UBC to further study a specific process of the N-cycle called Dissimilatory Nitrate Reduction to Ammonium (DNRA). My research will help further our current understanding of the conditions that governs the N-cycle, specifically under low oxygen conditions. I use process rates measurements to refine biogeochemical models of the past and modern N-cycle. The exciting field of geobiology allows me to often go on the field and combine my passion for travelling as well as my curiosity for science.


Ph.D. Candidate

Current Thesis Topic

Environmental importance of DNRA (dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium) to modern and ancient N-cycle.


  • Monitor the evolution of the different NO3- reduction pathways in a periodic anoxic fjord (Saanich Inlet, BC Canada)
  • Characterize the role of Fe in NO3- reduction in ferruginous chemoclines (Kabuno Bay, East Africa ; Matano and Towuti Lake, Indonesia) and model the coupling between the two cycles in the Proterozoic ocean
  • Measure key processes of the N-cycle in the North-East Pacific on the Line-P transect
  • Highlight the coupling between ANAMMOX and DNRA in coastal sediments (BC, Canada)


University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia.
(March 2013 – Present)
Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.                                                                                      
(September 2010 – September 2012)
Degree conferred: M.Sc in Bioengineering – Environmental Science and Technologies

Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.
(September 2007 - June 2010)
Degree conferred: B.Sc. in Bioengineering