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Institute of Philosophy and Scientific Method
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Dr. Aline Potiron, MA.

Throughout my PhD, I rely on my experience in the lab on microbial communities to address philosophical issues.


  • First, by investigating a widely used approach by scientists, amplicon sequencing, I suggest a novel definition of samples, a category overlooked by philosophers compared to data.
  • Then, I took a more historical approach by delving into the records of Serguei Winogradsky, opens an external URL in a new window, a founder of microbial ecology, to back up my thesis that current microbiome research practices are divided. This division can be traced to their medical and ecological scientific lineages, affecting explanations in this discipline.
  • Lastly, by using the ideas of model-based accounts of measurement, I thought of analysing the species concept used in microbial ecology in the context of diversity-as-a-measurement. I investigate the potential implications of such analysis for the practical, epistemological, and theoretical dimensions of the well-known biological and philosophical species problem.

Professional Career:

  • University Assistant (September 2020 - August 2024), JKU Linz, Institute of Philosophy and Scientific Method
  • PhD Student (November 2014 - December 2017), National Institute for Agricultural Research, Micalis UMR 1319, France


  • Master’s degree in Logic, Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Knowledge (2018-2019), Sorbonne University, France.Advisor: Professor Anouk Barberousse     
  • PhD in Microbiology (2014-2017), University of Paris-Saclay, Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences (Doctoral School), France.Dissertation title: Conversion of cholesterol into coprostanol by bacteria from human gut microbiota and its impact on cholesterolemia, Advisors: Dr. Moez Rhimi & Dr. Philippe Gerard
  • Engineer’s degree in Food Technology, major in Microbiology (2011-2014), National Institute of Agronomy, Food Technology and Environment, France