Bastian did a Bachelor's degree in Life Sciences at the University of Münster. During his thesis work, he worked on building web-based data analyses pipelines for second-generation sequencing data and discovered his passion for Evolution, Genomics, Bioinformatics and Open Source in general, dabbling in those fields for the first time.
Bastian continued his education at the University of Frankfurt, doing a Master in Ecology & Evolution. For his thesis he worked on detecting positive selection in freshwater snails. At the same time - spurred by his interests in personal genomics & open source - Bastian co-founded the crowdsourced open data repository openSNP with his friend Philipp. By enabling people to put their personal genomic & phenotypic data into the public domain, openSNP facilitates both citizen science projects as well as traditional academic research. With over 5,000 public data sets, openSNP is one of the largest public personal genome databases so far.
Staying in Frankfurt, Bastian went on to get a PhD in Bioinformatics, working on the evolutionary history of lichen - symbiotic organisms that consist of fungi, green algae and bacteria - to understand how the co-evolution of the symbionts influenced their genomes. While dealing with the challenges of assembling eukaryotic metagenomes, he could deepen his knowledge of both Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Biology. After finishing his PhD, Bastian joined the Berkeley Bioinformatics Open Source Project group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a Visiting Scholar and joined Open Humans as Director of Research to dive deeper into enabling citizen & community science around using personal data.
Bastian's research interests cover a wide spectrum of disciplines. Besides working in evolutionary biology and bioinformatics, he has worked extensively on many topics around research ethics, community-driven science and wider open science topics. On the topic of research ethics, Bastian is particularly interested in the ethics of participant-led research, data sharing and bias in research data. Besides his current focus on understanding how peer-production can be utilized in community science, Bastian also works on understanding participant motivations and collaborative data analyses. In the larger open science area, Bastian is interested in the future of scholarly publishing, understanding the positive impact that platforms like Sci-Hub have around the globe, and in promoting open practices, e.g. through the Open Bioinformatics Foundation with the Bioinformatics Open Source Conference, and the OpenScienceMOOC.