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Instructor of Biology

Biology Program, NYU Abu Dhabi

Graduate Student

Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology

Email: ai37[at]


B.Sc. Microbial Biotechnology, University of KwaZulu-Natal

B.Sc. Honours Microbiology, University of KwaZulu-Natal

M.Sc. Microbiology, University of KwaZulu-Natal

As a kid Ashley wanted to do three things: be a rockstar, travel the world, and be a scientist. He quickly learned that he was not talented enough to make it in the music industry and so began his journey to fulfill his remaining two dreams. After earning an Honours degree in Microbiology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Ashley worked at the South African Medical Research Council where he served as the LIMS Administrator in the HIV Prevention Research Unit. Unaccustomed to life behind a desk, he decided to pursue an MSc degree in microbiology where he investigated thermophilic cellulases for biotech application. This led to him securing a position as a Global Academic Fellow in Biology at NYU Shanghai in 2013. Ashley is now an Instructor of Biology at NYU Abu Dhabi where he teaches Foundations of Science, microbiology, environmental science and scientific writing. In addition to teaching, he studies the interactions between bacteria and phytoplankton through the lens of bioinformatics techniques in the Marine Microbiomics Lab at NYUAD and the Molecular Ecology Group at Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany. Level unlocked: “World Travelling Scientist”.

Selected Publications

A.A. Shibl, A. Isaac, M.A. Ochsenkühn, A. Cardenas, C. Fei, G. Behringer, M. Arnoux, N. Drou, M.P. Santos, K.C. Gunsalus, C.R. Voolstra, S.A. Amin (2020). Diatom modulation of select bacteria through use of two unique secondary metabolites. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 17, 27445-27455.

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