Universiteit Leiden

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Cathleen Broersma


C.M.E. Broersma MSc
+31 71 527 2727

My research focusses on the nuclear interactions in multinucleated, single celled, network structures formed by the acellular slime mold Physarum polycephalum. Using mutant strains that are resistant to different antibiotics, we will create a heterokaryotic network. By exposing the chimeric network to varying levels and combinations of antibiotics, we aim to unravel how the nature and intensity of the interactions between nuclei (cooperation versus conflict) affects the behavior and fitness of the organism.

More information about Cathleen Broersma

Brief biography

After obtaining my BSc in Biology at the University of Amsterdam, I continued to do my MSc in Microbial Biotechnology and Health at Leiden University. During this time, I worked on two projects: i. the experimental evolution of suppressive soils, and ii. the influence of genetic relatedness of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the formation and functioning of the common mycorrhizal network (at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam).

After a brief intermezzo working in biopharma and horticulture, in 2019 I moved to New Zealand and started my doctorate studies in Evolution Biology at Massey University, Auckland. My work here focussed on the existence of cooperation and social conflict in natural populations of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Since March 2022, I moved back to the Netherlands and joined Leiden University as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Microbial Sciences. Here I work on the impact of nuclear dynamics on organismal-scale behavior in chimeric network structures of the syncytial organism Physarum polycephalum.


  • Science
  • Instituut Biologie Leiden
  • IBL Microbial Sciences

Work address

Sylviusweg 72
2333 BE Leiden
Room number 4.4.11


  • No relevant ancillary activities
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