- Ocean governance
- Marine biotechnology sector
- Biodiversity and Evolution
- Network analysis
- Statistical modeling
Erik Zhivkoplias studies the governance of the marine biotechnology sector, and how the use of the “ocean genome” impacts the stability of socio-ecological marine systems
Natural products that come from the ocean such as medicine, pharmacy products, and biochemical enzymes are encoded in genetic sequences that marine organisms possess in their genomes. Genes are created and shaped by the flow of biological evolution, and so the formation of these sequences is a more complex process than the formation of other natural resources such as fossils or minerals.
To fully understand the unprecedented value of the ocean as a library of genetic memories of the whole biosphere, we need to devise a new approach. The value has to be seen in the context of the marine biotechnology sector (users) and socio-economic communities (providers) cooperation, and the resulting importance of fair access and sustainability governance. Zhivkoplias' research aims to understand the significance of genetic sequences that originate from the ocean and move towards solutions of how to constitute equitable and fair access to such information.
Zhivkoplias holds a Master of Science degree in Bioinformatics from Uppsala University and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from St. Petersburg State University. He further followed machine learning and statistical modeling courses at the University of Groningen.
Prior to joining the SRC, Zhivkoplias worked at The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) studying the molecular evolution of viruses, and Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) modeling gene regulatory networks based on motif composition.