Partner 04: University of Thessaly

Partner description

The University of Thessaly (UTH) was founded in 1984. Today, UTH, with 37 Departments and 8 schools, is the third biggest University in Greece. UTH has 42.000 undergraduates, 4300 postgraduate students, 1500 PhD students, 1000 members of teaching and research staff and 450 members of administrative personnel. The Department of Biochemistry & Biotechnology (DBB) ( belongs to the School of Health Sciences. It was founded in 2000 in Larissa, at the centre of the most important agricultural area of Greece; It is characterized by research excellence and is currently leading the first Hellenic Research Infrastructure on Synthetic Biology in the Agro-food sector. Human resources: 30 researchers, 25 PhD and 85 MSc students. The Lab of Plant & Environmental Biotechnology ( participating in Minagris was identified as the most successful research group of DBB in the recent external evaluation report.

Website (University):

Website (Laboratory):

Role in the project

UTH and its principal investigator will act as a scientific coordinator of the project. UTH will lead WP4 focusing on the monitoring of the effects of MPs on soil microbiota. UTH will also participate in WP6 where it will focus on the determination of the microbiological composition of the plastisphere, focusing on the evolution of novel catabolic traits for pollutants sorbed or interacting with the plastics (e.g., pesticide and antibiotic degraders), and the presence and dispersal of human and plant pathogens.

Persons involved

04 Dimitris Karpouzas

Prof. Dimitrios Karpouzas – Scientific project coordinator
He is a Prof. in Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology and Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Thessaly. He has > 20 years in studying the interactions of soil microbes with organic pollutants. He has published >120 articles in international scientific journals (H-index: 32, cited 2767 times). He has acted as coordinator of several EU projects such as MSCA-IRG ECOMYCORRHIZA, MSCA-IF EMIGRATE, MSCA-IAPP LOVE-TO-HATE and MSCA-ITN ARISTO.


Dr. Sotirios Vasileiadis (M) is Assistant Prof. in Molecular Microbial Ecology and Genomics, Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Thssaly. He has expertise in bioinformatics and microbial ecology with focus on the determination of the effects of abiotic stressors on soil microbial communities. He has authored 49 publications in peer reviewed journals (Scopus h-index 19, and 1061 citations). He has been a holder of an MSCA-IF fellowship (EMIGRATE) and the HFRI-Greece project INVERT.


Dr Evangelia Papadopoulou is Assistant Prof in Environmental Microbiology, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Thessaly. She has expertise on the effects of pesticides and nitrification inhibitors on N microbial cycling. She has authored 22 articles in peer-reviewed journals (Scopus h-index 14, citations 395). She has coordinated an HFRI, Greece project and has worked before in EU and national projects


Dr. Panagiotis Karas is Senior Postdoc Fellow with expertise in the environmental fate and biodegradation of organic pollutants and interactions of soil microbes with organic pollutants. He has authored 21 articles in peer-reviewed journals (Scopus h-index 13, citations 396). He has worked in several EU and nationally funded project as a senior postdoc fellow.


MSc Foskea Raevel - is a PhD candidate both at the Soil Physics and Land Management group of WUR and at the Biochemistry and Biotechnology department of the UTH. Her supervisors are Violette Geissen (SLM, WUR) and Dimitrios Karpouzas (BB, UTH). Her work will focus on the impact of microplastics and other stressors on soil micro-organisms. She has experience with ecotoxicological studies and microplastics extraction and identification from soil and compost.