Last week I had the pleasure of being the guest of Pål Jarle Johnsen at the University of Tromsø, the northernmost university in the world. I have recently been awarded a NERC ‘pump priming’ grant on incipient bacterial speciation for which both Pål and Gabriel Perron are international partners. We will use the bacterium Acinetobacter baylyi, a model system for transformation related to the emerging pathogen A. baumannii. Pål and his group are experts on this model system and it was really interesting to hear about the experiments they have been doing. Both Pål and Gabe will visit Cornwall later this year and I hope to post about ongoing experiments then!