Role
Research Scientist in the Sustainable Coastal Ecosystems and Industries in Tropical Australia program.
Background
My training and background is in microbial ecology and the use of molecular methods for microbial community analysis. My PhD investigated archaeal communities with emphasis on methanogenic archaea in Arctic wetlands and their response to soil water gradients and temperature. At AIMS I have worked with aquaculture-related microbiology projects primarily focused on microbial communities associated with wild and cultured larvae of the tropical rock lobster (Panulirus ornatus), their natural prey items, and their aquaculture environment. This work included the development of molecular tools for pathogen identification and monitoring, the biology and ecology of the newly described pathogen species Vibrio owensii, the elucidation of pathogenicity mechanisms of lobster larvae pathogens, and the development of alternative microbial management protocols including the use of seawater ozononation, probiotics, bacteriophage and quorum sensing inhibitors.
Education
  • 2006: Dr. scient. (PhD), University of Bergen, Norway
  • 1998: Cand. scient. (MSc), University of Bergen, Norway
Current Research Activities
Current research is targeting the microbiology of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish and the development of microbial and molecular indicators of pollution.
Publications
Over 20 science and technical papers in international journals. The following are a selection of recent publications.

Malara D, Hoj L, Heimann K, Citarrella G, Oelgemoller M (2017) Capacity of cationic and anionic porphyrins to inactivate the potential aquaculture pathogen Vibrio campbellii. Aquaculture 473:228-236

Andreakis N, Høj L, Kearns P, Hall MR, Evans-Illidge E (2015) Hidden novel fungal diversity exposed through quantitative analysis of ITS barcodes from cultured marine isolates: the algorithm matters. PLOS ONE 10(8): e0136130

Espinoza-Valles I, Vora GJ, Lin B, Leekitcharoenphon P, Gonzalez-Castillo A, Ussery DW, Høj L, Gómez-Gil B (2015) Unique and conserved genome regions in Vibrio harveyi and related species in comparison with the shrimp pathogen Vibrio harveyi CAIM 1792. Microbiology, doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000141

Cano-Gomez A, Høj L, Owens L, Baillie BK, Andreakis N (2015) A multiplex PCR-based protocol for identification and quantification of Vibrio harveyi-related species. Aquaculture 437: 195-200

Nguyen VD, Pham TT, Nguyen THT, Nguyen TTX, Høj L (2014) Screening of marine bacteria with bacteriocin-like activities and probiotic potential for ornate spiny lobster (Panulirus ornatus) juveniles. Fish and Shellfish Immunology 40: 49-60

Goulden EF, Hall MR, Pereg LL, Baillie BK, Høj L (2013) Probiont niche specialization contributes to additive protection against Vibrio owensii in spiny lobster larvae. Environ. Microbiol. Rep. 5 (1): 39-48

Goulden EF, Hall MR, Pereg LL, Høj L (2012) Identification of an Antagonistic Probiotic Combination Protecting Ornate Spiny Lobster (Panulirus ornatus) Larvae against Vibrio owensii Infection. PLoS ONE 7(7): e39667

Goulden EF, Hall MR, Bourne DG, Pereg LL, Høj L (2012) Pathogenicity and infection cycle of Vibrio owensii in larviculture of ornate spiny lobster (Panulirus ornatus). Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78(8):2841-2849

Cano-Gomez A, Høj L, Owens L, Andreakis N (2011) Multilocus Sequence Analysis (MLSA) provides basis for fast and reliable identification of Vibrio harveyi-related species and confirms previous misidentifications of important marine pathogens. Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 34: 561-565

Crothers-Stomps C, Høj L, Bourne DG, Hall MR, Owens L (2010) Isolation of lytic bacteriophage against Vibrio harveyi. J. Appl. Microbiol. 108: 1744-1750

Cano-Gomez A, Goulden EF, Owens L, Høj L (2010) Vibrio owensii sp. nov., isolated from diseased crustaceans in Australia. FEMS Microbiol. Let. 302: 175-181

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