Panji Cahya Mawarda


Here at Naturalis, my project unravels the "hidden biodiversity" of bacteria, fungi, algae, lichens, and bryophytes in urban environments. We aim to investigate the taxonomic and functional diversity of these organisms, along with their subsequent impact on urban habitats. Additionally, I am planning to further develop my research on the ecological role of mobile genetic elements in microbiome adaptation to environmental stressors in urban ecosystems.


Microbiome Diversity, Community Adaptation, Metagenomics, Mobile Genetic Elements, Functional Diversity, Ecosystem Functioning, Microbial Ecology


My research examines the dynamics of taxonomic and functional diversity within microbiomes across various ecosystems. I study the assembly, adaptation, and evolution of these microbes to gain a better understanding not only of their interactions and responses to different changes and stressors but also of their contribution to ecosystem functioning and processes. For these efforts, I leverage the power of sequencing technologies, along with (meta)genomics, big data, machine learning, and bioinformatics.

Learning the dynamics of soil microbiomes in response to microbial invasions during his PhD convinced Panji that to study the ecology of microbiomes holistically, one cannot rely solely on diversity changes, as the functionality (e.g., community adaptation) must be concomitantly assessed. Therefore, his first postdoctoral research at KU Leuven, Belgium focused on investigating the ecological role of Insertion Sequence (IS) elements in microbial community adaptation. He studied the abundance and functional diversity of genetic cargo carried by IS elements in bacterial communities. Now at Naturalis, he continues harnessing the power of (meta)genomics, big data, and bioinformatics to unravel the "hidden biodiversity" structure and functionality in urban environments.

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  • Studying taxonomic and functional diversity of soil and lichen microbiome along heat stress gradients in urban areas.
  • Studying taxonomic and functional diversity of soil microbiome in different urban topologies
  • Studying the diversity of airborne diaspores and predict establishment on new/existing surfaces


  • Mawarda, P. C., Le Roux, X., Acosta, M. U., van Elsas, J. D., & Salles, J. F. (2022). The impact of protozoa addition on the survivability of Bacillus inoculants and soil microbiome dynamics. ISME Communications, 2(1),8
  • Mawarda, P. C., Mallon, C. A., Le Roux, X., van Elsas, J. D., & Salles, J. F. (2022). Interactions between Bacterial Inoculants and Native Soil Bacterial Community: the Case of Spore-forming Bacillus spp. FEMS microbiology ecology, 98(12), fiac127.
  • Mawarda, P. C., Lakke, S.L., Van Elsas, J. D., & Salles, J. F. (2022). Temporal Dynamics of The Soil Bacterial Community Following Bacillus Invasion. iScience, 25(5), 104185.
  • Mawarda, P. C., Le Roux, X., Van Elsas, J. D., & Salles, J. F. (2020). Deliberate introduction of invisible invaders: a critical appraisal of the impact of microbial inoculants on soil microbial communities. Soil Biology and Biochemistry148, 107874.
  • Arce, C., Cahya‐Mawarda, P., Arroyo‐Manzanares, N., Garrido, J. J., & Arce, L. (2018). CE method for analyzing Salmonella typhimurium in water samples. Journal of separation science41(2), 534-539.
  • Ratnaningrum, D., Budiwati, T. A., Darsini, T., & Mawarda, P. C. (2018). The production of corn kernel miso based on rice-koji fermented by Aspergillus oryzae and Rhizopus oligosporusJournal of Tropical Biodiversity and Biotechnology3(1), 8-17.

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