Janina Rahlff

Janina Rahlff

Position: Postdoc at the Linnaeus University (on a DFG-scholarship)

Research focus: Viral-bacterial interactions at the air-sea interface using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods.

What do you love about viruses?
Viruses are like little aliens and despite they are not even alive by human definition they are incredibly successful, diverse, and abundant. We know so little about them.

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?
Sleeping in, meeting or talking to people I love, spending time in nature.

What are you currently learning?
Swedish language, chess, lots of things related to bioinformatics and personally: detachment and letting go.

What is the coolest thing about your research?
The possibility to go at sea and on cool expeditions, lose myself in exciting data or discussions with colleagues, and be a writer/storyteller all within the same profession. What I like most is that I can ask big questions and can actually try to find an answer. Making exciting discoveries is the cherry on the cake.

What was your most surprising scientific finding?
Most recently: There seem to be viruses in the rain that are genetically different from viruses on Earth’s ground but still leave a footprint on Earth as prokaryotic hosts from the sea surface show adaptive immunity against these viruses. Little aliens, as said.

For which project idea are you looking for a cooperation partner?
I’d like to sample viruses from the stratosphere. Someone with an aircraft would be great 🙂

What was your biggest achievement / your biggest failure?
Biggest achievement: to do what I love for a living, biggest failure: there is no failure, there is either success or learning.

Which scientific topic (outside of your field of research) do you think should have more scientific attention?
The human brain. Why and how do we develop a coherent sense of self and many other mysteries.

If you had the option to give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would that be?
Don’t waste any time to care about and adjust to peer pressure and do what you think is best for you. Question authorities and ”common knowledge” and make your own judgment as often as possible. Feel confident in being edgy. And don’t be too hard on yourself.

Is there anything else you would like to share with other EVBC members?
I am very happy to be a member of the EVBC community and say ”hello” to everyone!