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Profile of Dr Iliana Bista

Dr Iliana Bista
Post Doctoral Fellow, Wellcome Trust, Sanger Institute
Environment Centre Wales (3rd floor), School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK


I am currently working on a PhD project in collaboration with the Environment Agency, UK involving the development of new molecular tools for biomonitoring of freshwater ecosystems with a particular focus on macroinvertebrate groups. For this work I am using metabarcoding of environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect species diversity in lake ecosystems and also testing shotgun sequencing of invertebrate mitochondrial genomes for accurate estimation of relative abundance in mixed environmental samples. The wider project also involves the construction of a comprehensive DNA barcoding library for UK macroinvertebrate indicator species.


Quick CV


  • 2016: PhD in Molecular Ecology (To be awarded 2016), Bangor University.
  • 2011: MRes in Ecology, Bangor University, Wales, UK
  • 2007: BSc in Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (A.U.TH), Greece

Grants – Awards

  • Genome Research Excellence Award for best Poster Presentation, 6th International Barcode of Life Conference, Guelph, Canada, August 2015
  • Gilson Le Cren Memorial Award 2014, Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) (£4000)
  • NBAF-NERC Pilot Project Grant, February 2014 (£2700)
  • Best MRes Thesis Award, Chuck Hollingworth Memorial Prize, November 2011, Bangor University School of Natural Sciences.
  • Knowledge Economy Skills (KESS) Scholarship for PhD Studies, October 2011-2016, Bangor University.
  • L. Athanasoula Scholarship for postgraduate studies, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, December 2010.
  • Honorary Award of Scientific Distinction for Erasmus Studies Research Project, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki May 15th 2009.

Selected Conference Presentations

  • British Ecological Society (BES) Annual Meeting, Edinburgh, December 2015
  • 6th International Barcode of Life Conference, Guelph, Canada, August 2015
  • International Environmental Omics conference, Liverpool (2014), Cardiff (2013)
  • UK eDNA working group, UK, York (May 2014), Hull (September 2014), Bangor (September 2015)
  • ECOCHANGE, 1st DNA Metabarcoding School, Grenoble, France, 5-9th March 2012


Current Project:

Freshwater Ecosystem Biomonitoring: defining and testing a next generation sequencing identification framework

Principal investigator of project(s):
Dr. Simon Creer

Co-investigator of project(s):
Prof. Gary Carvalho

Partner Supervisors (EA):
Kerry Walsh, Martin Christmas

Funding body of project:
Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS),
Environment Agency


  • Bista I, Carvalho, GR, Walsh K, Seymour M, Hajibabaei M, Lallias D, Christmas M, Creer S. (2017). Annual time-series analysis of aqueous eDNA reveals ecologically relevant dynamics of lake ecosystem biodiversity. Nature Communications, 8, 14087.
  • Deiner K, Bik HM, Mächler E, Seymour M, Lacoursière-Roussel A, Altermatt F, Creer S, Bista I, Lodge DM, de Vere N, Pfrender ME, Bernatchez “Environmental DNA metabarcoding: transforming how we survey animal and plant communities.”(Accepted) Molecular Ecology.
  • Gray C, Bista I, Creer S, Demars BOL, Falciani F, Monteith DT, Sun X, and Woodward G, Freshwater conservation and biomonitoring of structure and function: Genes to ecosystems (2015). in “Aquatic functional biodiversity: an ecological and evolutionary perspective” Editors: A. Belgrano, G. Woodward, U. Jacob, Academic Press.
  • Garcia- Vazquez E, Horreo JL, Campo D, Machado-Schiaffino G, Bista I, Triantafyllidis A, Juanes F. Mislabeling of two commercial North American hake species suggests underreported exploitation of Offshore Hake (2009), Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 138: 790-796.
  • Triantafyllidis A, Leonardos I, Bista I, Kyriazis ID, Stoumboudi MTh, Kappas I, Amat F, Abatzopoulos TJ, Phylogeography and genetic structure of the Mediterranean killifish Aphanius fasciatus (Cyprinodontidae) (2007), Marine Biology, 152:1159-1167.

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