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Jean-Baptiste Ramond


Research Fellow


Contacts Details

Phone (w): +27 (0)12 420 6980

Cell phone: +27 (0)76 584 0256 

Email: [email protected]

           [email protected]


Short Biography

I completed in 2008 a PhD in Microbiology (highest honors), with specialization in Microbial Ecology, at the UMR CNRS 6143 – Morphodynamique Continentale et Côtière – Groupe Microbiologie, (University of Rouen, France). My research focused on mercury-resistant microbial communities in estuarine environments (mudflat sediments and water).

In 2009, I moved to South Africa with my wife and two young kids to join, as a Postdoctoral research associate, the Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics (IMBM) based at the University of the Western Cape. Co-supervised by Prof Don Cowan (UWC) and Prof Stephanie Burton (CPUT), my research aimed to better understand the roles of microbial communities in biological sand filters [BSFs] (or unplanted constructed wetland) mesocosms treating (in)organic effluents (e.g. winery wastewater and acid mine drainage). My role in this project was as leader of the molecular phylogenetic surveys of BSF microbial population structural evolution and adaptation.

I was appointed as a Research Fellows, in 2013, in the recently created Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics (CMEG) of the University of Pretoria under the leadership of Prof. DA Cowan. I am currently leading the Namib Desert Microbial Ecology scientific research program.

I also lecture, since 2011, once a year in a week-long course on Microbial Ecology and Bioremediation for the Masters in Biotechnology of the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Maputo, Mozambique).

I was awarded an NRF Y2 rating in 2015.


Publications since 2013:

  1. Assessment of temporal and spatial evolution of bacterial communities in a biological sand filter mesocosm treating winery wastewater (2013) J-B Ramond, PJ Welz, MI Tuffin, SG Burton, DA Cowan. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 115: 91-101
  2. Evidence of variability in the structure and recruitment of rhizospheric and endophytic bacteria communities associated with arable sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L) Moench) (2013) J-B Ramond, F Tshabuse, CW Bopda, DA Cowan, MI Tuffin. Plant and Soil, 372: 265-278
  3. Selection of diazotrophic bacterial communities in biological sand filter mesocosms used for the treatment of phenolic-laden wastewater (2013) J-B Ramond, PJ Welz, MI Tuffin, SG Burton, DA Cowan. Microbial Ecology, 66: 563-570
  4. Selection of Clostridium spp. in biological sand filters neutralizing synthetic acid mine drainage (2014) J-B Ramond, PJ Welz, M le Roes-Hill, MI Tuffin, SG Burton, DA Cowan. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 87: 678-690
  5. Minor differences in sand physicochemistry lead to major differences in bacterial community structure and function after exposure to synthetic acid mine drainage (2014) PJ Welz, J-B Ramond, M le Roes-Hill, DA Cowan, SG Burton. Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering, 19: 211-220
  6. A sequential co-extraction method for DNA, RNA and protein recovery from soil for future system-based approaches (2014) E Gunnigle, J-B Ramond, A Frossard, M Seely, DA Cowan. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 103: 118–123
  7. Niche-partitioning of edaphic microbial communities in the Namib Desert gravel plain Fairy Circles (2014) J-B Ramond, A Pienaar, A Armstrong, M Seely, DA Cowan. PLOS ONE, 9: e109539
  8. Normalization of environmental metagenomic DNA enhances the discovery of under-represented microbial community members (2015) J-B Ramond, TP Makhalanyane, MI Tuffin, DA Cowan. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 60: 359-366
  9. Microbial Ecology of Hot Desert Edaphic Systems (2015) TP Makhalanyane, A Valverde, E Gunnigle, A Frossard, J-B Ramond, DA Cowan. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 39: 203-221
  10. Evidence of novel plant-species specific ammonia oxidizing bacterial clades in acidic South African fynbos soils (2015) J-B Ramond, JDW Lako, WHL Stafford, MI Tuffin, DA Cowan. Journal of Basic Microbiology, 54: 1-8
  11. Draft genomic DNA sequence of the multi-resistant Sphingomonas sp. strain AntH11 isolated from an Antarctic hypolith (2015) E Gunnigle*, J-B Ramond*, LD Guerrero, TP Makhalanyane, DA Cowan. FEMS Microbiology Letters, fnv037. * : contributed equally to the work.
  12. Impact of metagenomic DNA extraction procedures on the identifiable endophytic bacterial diversity in Sorghum bicolor (L. Moench) (2015) MKA Maropola, J-B Ramond, M Trindade. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 112: 104-117
  13. Metagenomes of extreme environments (2015) DA Cowan, J-B Ramond, TP Makhalanyane, P De Maayer. Current Opinion in Microbiology, 25: 97-102
  14. The influence of surface soil physicochemistry on the edaphic bacterial communities in contrasting terrain types of the Central Namib Desert (2015) S Gombeer, J-B Ramond, FD Eckardt, M Seely, DA Cowan. Geobiology, 13: 494-505
  15. Water regime history drives responses of soil Namib Desert microbial communities to wetting events (2015) A Frossard, J-B Ramond, M Seely, DA Cowan. Scientific Reports, 5: 12263
  16. Namib Desert dune/interdune transects exhibit habitat-specific edaphic bacterial communities (2015) S Ronca, J-B Ramond, BE Jones, M Seely, DA Cowan. Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology, 6: 845
  17. Unique microbial phylotypes in Namib Desert Fairy Circle soils. AJ Van der Walt, RM Johnson, DA Cowan, M Seely, J-B Ramond. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, In Press


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