Behavioural Hologenomics in the Aizpurua Group

The focus of the Aizpurua Group is to investigating the intricate dynamics of the microbiota-gut-brain axis in both wild and model animals. Their research primarily centers on understanding how the interactions among animals, their associated microorganisms, and the environment collectively influence animal behavior. In line with our commitment to advancing research methodologies, we have recently initiated the integration of gut-on-a-chip technology into our studies.

Mice in tube test


Our research is focused on elucidating the intricate interplay among animal-microbiota-environment interactions and their profound influence on animal behavior, and its implication for animal ecology and evolution. We investigate these interactions in both wild and lab animals through the integration of multi'omic methods with behavioural profiling techniques including automatic tracking system, behavioural test, and ultrasound recordings. Simultaneously, we explore the translational potential of our findings in biomedicine, given the increasing recognition of the microbiota-gut-brain axis as a promising therapeutic target for addressing various behavioral disorders effectively. Recently, we have initiated the integration of gut-on-a-chip technology into our investigations to study host-microbiota interactions at the microscale and elucidate the microbial effects on animal evolution.


Link to publications here.

Unravelling animal–microbiota evolution on a chip. Aizpurua Arrieta, Ostaizka, Blijleven, Kees, Trivedi, Urvish, Gilbert, M Thomas P & Alberdi, Antton, 2023, In: Trends in Microbiology. 31, 10, p. 995-1002 8 p.

Field and laboratory guidelines for reliable bioinformatic and statistical analysis of bacterial shotgun metagenomic data. Aizpurua Arrieta, Ostaizka, Dunn, Rob, Hansen, Lars Hestbjerg, Gilbert, M Thomas P & Alberdi, Antton, 2024, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology.

Gut microbiota differences between paired intestinal wall and digesta samples in three small species of fish. L Nyholm, I Odriozola, GM Bideguren, O Aizpurua, A Alberdi. PeerJ 10, e12992.

Diversity and compositional changes in the gut microbiota of wild and captive vertebrates: a meta-analysis. A Alberdi, G Martin Bideguren, O Aizpurua. Scientific Reports 11 (1), 22660.


Funded by

the Carlsberg Foundation's Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship

the Villum Foundation




Group leader

Ostaizka Aizpurua

Assistant Professor


Explainer video about Ostaizka's organ-on-a-chip research

Group members

Name Title Phone E-mail
Kees Blijleven Research Assistant +4535333616 E-mail
Michael Gerard Miskelly Postdoc +4535321376 E-mail

Name Title Phone E-mail
Elsa Brenner
Master Student E-mail
Mireya Arratibel Guest Student E-mail