Timotej Turk Dermastia

timotej tuk dermastia colortimotej tuk dermastia blue

Research Assistant


+386 (05) 9232 935

E-mail address:

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Areas of interest:

Harmful algal blooms


Climate change


Phytoplankton viruses



I was born on the 23.11.1992 in Ljubljana, where I finished high school at Gimnazija Poljane. After graduating I began with my studies of biology at the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana. During my studies I have participated in many workshops and seminars where I deepened my knowledge of life sciences. In the last year of my bachelor’s degree I was accepted to a student exchange in Perth, Australian lead by the European-Australian Network. I spent 5 months in Perth at Edith Cowan University, fulfilling my assignments towards my degree in Biology. Upon returning to Slovenia I started working at the Marine Biology Station in Piran on a student project where we developed a method for fast identification of fish species in food products. Work on this project had lead me to continue my education in marine biology so I applied and was accepted to St Andrews University in Scotland on a Masters course in Ecosystem-based management of marine systems. I spent a year in Scotland and graduated in November 2016 with a thesis titled Investigating immigration as a driver of population growth in the New Caledonian humpback whale breeding grounds using paternity analysis. After finishing my masters, I continued my studies on a PhD programme of Ecotechnology at the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School and started working as PhD candidate at the Marine biology station in Piran, where I was involved in studies of harmful algal blooms and the phytoplankton composition of the Slovenian sea, molecular methods for the detection and identification of these organisms and advanced bioinformatic analyses. I obtained my PhD in October 2021 with the dissertation titled Diversity, Ecology And Sensing Of The Toxic Diatom Pseudo-Nitzschia In The Gulf Of Trieste. Already during my PhD I started investigating a new research field, namely viruses infecting diatoms. In October 2022 I received funding for my postdoctoral project Diatom viruses and their role in organic matter cycling in the coastal seas. Details are available at https://projects.nib.si/diavir.




I frequently write for popular science magazines and websites, where I try to bring my scientific interest to the general public and even children. For my science communication excellence I received the Prometheus of Science award in 2018 and along with other members of the In the Swirl of Change Symposium organizing committee also in 2021.  I was the winner of the 2019 ScienceSlam contest (https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2415422218692959). I am a member of the executive board of the Slovenian Natural History Society and a member of the Council for Antarctic and Arctic Research of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (https://www.sazu.si/svet-za-raziskave-antarktike-in-arktike). I was also a co-chair and founding member of the young scientist leg of the Euromarine network (OYSTER https://euromarinenetwork.eu/oyster/).



1. TURK DERMASTIA, Timotej, VASCOTTO, Ivano, FRANCÉ, Janja, STANKOVIĆ, David, MOZETIČ, Patricija. Evaluation of the rbcL marker for metabarcoding of marine diatoms and inference of population structure of selected genera. Frontiers in microbiology. Mar. 2023, vol. 14, str. 1-21, ilustr. ISSN 1664-302X. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2023.1071379, DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2023.1071379. [COBISS.SI-ID 143697411]


2. TURK DERMASTIA, Timotej, DALL’ARA, Sonia, DOLENC, Jožica, MOZETIČ, Patricija. Toxicity of the Diatom Genus Pseudo-nitzschia (Bacillariophyceae) : insights from toxicity tests and genetic screening in the Northern Adriatic Sea. Toxins : Elektronski vir. 2022, vol. 14, iss. 1, str. 1-17, ilustr. ISSN 2072-6651. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6651/14/1/60/htmhttps://repozitorij.uni-lj.si/IzpisGradiva.php?id=137126, DOI: 10.3390/toxins14010060. [COBISS.SI-ID 94153219]


3. TURK DERMASTIA, Timotej, CERINO, Federica, STANKOVIĆ, David, FRANCÉ, Janja, RAMŠAK, Andreja, TUŠEK-ŽNIDARIČ, Magda, BERAN, Alfred, NATALI, Vanessa, CABRINI, Marina, MOZETIČ, Patricija. Ecological time series and integrative taxonomy unveil seasonality and diversity of the toxic diatom Pseudo-nitzschia H. Peragallo in the northern Adriatic Sea. Harmful algae. Mar. 2020, vol. 93, 101773, str. 1-20, ilustr. ISSN 1568-9883. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1568988320300536?via%3Dihubhttps://dirros.openscience.si/IzpisGradiva.php?id=11205, DOI: 10.1016/j.hal.2020.101773. [COBISS.SI-ID 40469253]


 Link to COBISS, a Slovenian database containing all my publications