Marcin was born and raised in Poland. Influenced by Sir David Attenborough films, in primary school he wanted to become a biologist. But finding machines to be more predictable, he decided to study electronics in high school and computing at the university, obtaining Master of Science in Engineering in Computer Programming. Yet, he quickly realised that dissections of computational theorems don’t interest him as much as actual application of computational techniques to “real life” problems. So, he got his PhD in Hydro-Geo-Chemistry (yes, really) working on computational modelling of ion transport and chemical interactions in limestone-like rock structure. After that, the only logical step was to start a postdoctoral position in Bioinformatics Program at Human Genetics Department, University of Michigan to work on MS/MS proteomics of human plasma. That was followed by a switch to genomics of non-model species to work on the first sponge genome project at The University of Queensland. To his own surprise, Marcin continued to work in sponge genomics at the Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology in Norway.
Marcin has research ADHD: as long as it’s computational, it interests him. He promised himself to limit his involvements to bioinformatics. He is particularly interested in genomics – genome assemblies and annotations and molecular phylogeny – especially in trying to figure out what on Earth has happened at the origin of multicellular animals, making it so hard to pinpoint the oldest animal lineage. Marcin (currently) declares himself as professional bioinformatician. It means that he is always ready to attempt to solve (or die trying) any bioinformatics problem. If you have something to throw at him, you can always drop him an email or just come to his office in the EBL space in RN Robertson on his ‘office day’ – Wednesday.
Marcin considers teaching to be an interactive activity, where the teacher’s role is that of a guide through the learning process, rather than source of knowledge. Marcin is a lecturer in the Quantitative Biology Course BIOL2001. Together with Teresa Neeman from SCU he also organizes and teaches Bioinformatics Workshops, running twice a year for all students and staff from RSB, JCSMR and The Fenner School.
Short answer: A brain child of Sir David Attenborough and Bjarne Stroustrup.
- This profile originally appeared in the RSB Newsletter, Issue 102, October 2018