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Personal profile


BSc (Hons 1) Biochemistry, UNSW

PhD Microbiology (2007) UNSW


Dr Martin Ostrowski is a Life Scientist working in the fields of microbiology, oceanography and genomics. Martin is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney.

From 2015-2019 he was a Deputy Director of the Macquarie University Marine Research Centre and he maintains active collaborations with Macquarie University researchers. He has over 230 days and 80,000km of research at sea spanning the planets major oceans and seas. His research focsses on transforming molecular insights into a rich understanding of the function of living systems, from membrane transport proteins, to viruses, microbes and whales and ecosystsem models.


Past Positions:

Manager of the Macquarie University Flow Cytometry Facility

Australian Microbiome Initiative Scientific Working Group

Australian Microbiome Initiative Proposal Assessment Panel

Marine Microbes Initiative Scientific Steering Committee

Governance group for an RDS/QCIF Research Data Cloud Environmental Genomics Project

A founding voyager and scientific advisor to IndigoVexpeditions citizen science oceography project.



Research interests


Undergraduate teaching 

CBMS215 Microbes form the foundation of healthy marine ecosystems

CBMS331 Advanced flow cytometry

GEOS206 The living ocean

Postgraduate teaching

CBMS785 Laboratory Skills for Molecular Science Research.  Advanced Flow cytometry

CBMS793 Advanced Biomolecular Analysis. Core skills for BIG DATA, genome assembly, transcriptomics and Next Generation Sequencing

External positions

Research Fellow, University of Technology, Sydney

1 May 2019 → …

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  • Not all microbes are equal: Defining keystone microbes and planktonic guilds within Australias oceans

    Ostrowski, M., Brown, M., Seymour, J., Fuhrman, J., Levine, N., Edwards, R. & Bodrossy, L.

    1/01/17 → …

    Project: Research

    Mapping and Modelling the Ocean's Unseen Biodiversity

    Ostrowski, M., Brown, M., Bodrossy, L., Beman, J. & Fuhrman, J.

    26/05/15 → …

    Project: Research

    Research Outputs

    • 2332 Citations
    • 20 h-Index
    • 39 Article
    • 7 Review article
    • 2 Chapter
    • 1 Comment/opinion

    Ecological genomics of marine picocyanobacteria

    Scanlan, D. J., Ostrowski, M., Mazard, S., Dufresne, A., Garczarek, L., Hess, W. R., Post, A. F., Hagemann, M., Paulsen, I. & Partensky, F., Jun 2009, In : Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. 73, 2, p. 249-299 51 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    408 Citations (Scopus)

    An economical custom-built drone for assessing whale health

    Pirotta, V., Smith, A., Ostrowski, M., Russell, D., Jonsen, I. D., Grech, A. & Harcourt, R., 21 Dec 2017, In : Frontiers in Marine Science. 4, DEC, p. 1-12 12 p., 425.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 25 Citations (Scopus)
    24 Downloads (Pure)

    Spatially extensive microbial biogeography of the Indian Ocean provides insights into the unique community structure of a pristine coral atoll

    Jeffries, T. C., Ostrowski, M., Williams, R. B., Xie, C., Jensen, R. M., Grzymski, J. J., Senstius, S. J., Givskov, M., Hoeke, R., Philip, G. K., Neches, R. Y., Drautz-Moses, D. I., Chenard, C., Paulsen, I. T. & Lauro, F. M., 20 Oct 2015, In : Scientific Reports. 5, p. 1-13 13 p., 15383.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 12 Citations (Scopus)
    38 Downloads (Pure)

    PtrA is required for coordinate regulation of gene expression during phosphate stress in a marine Synechococcus

    Ostrowski, M., Mazard, S., Tetu, S. G., Phillippy, K., Johnson, A., Palenik, B., Paulsen, I. T. & Scanlan, D. J., Jul 2010, In : ISME Journal. 4, 7, p. 908-921 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 30 Citations (Scopus)

    Multi-locus sequence analysis, taxonomic resolution and biogeography of marine Synechococcus

    Mazard, S., Ostrowski, M., Partensky, F. & Scanlan, D. J., Feb 2012, In : Environmental microbiology. 14, 2, p. 372-386 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 74 Citations (Scopus)


    • 2 Membership of board
    • 1 Editorial work
    • 1 Invited talk

    ISME Journal (Journal)

    Martin Ostrowski (Member of editorial board)
    1 Dec 2016

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

    Bioplatforms Australia Ltd (External organisation)

    Martin Ostrowski (Chair)

    Activity: MembershipMembership of board

    Macquarie University Marine Research Centre (Organisational unit)

    Martin Ostrowski (Chair)

    Activity: MembershipMembership of board

    Press / Media

    DNA from the deep reveals stunning diversity of invisible life in Australia’s oceans

    Martin Ostrowski


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Massive study of ocean microbes to help predict climate change impact

    Martin Ostrowski


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Marine microbial data supports innovative research collecting whale blow microbiota

    Martin Ostrowski & Vanessa Pirotta


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Sailors called on for a new wave of citizen science

    Martin Ostrowski


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment