Director, Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics
Dean & Professor, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Professor, School of Life Sciences
Ferran Garcia-Pichel and his collaborators study the roles, adaptations, and impacts of microbes in natural environments that range from desert soils to shallow marine waters. The microbes they study play roles of ecological importance, including the formation and destruction of minerals, the prevention of soil erosion, or the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients.
His current foci on microbial adaptations involve studying mechanisms carbonate dissolution, the production of sunscreen compounds, and the microbial ability to produce hydrogen from water. Current applied aspects of their research include developing strategies for the sustainable recovery of degraded arid lands and searching for novel microbial capacities and products that have potential use in biomedicine and technology.
Garcia-Pichel is also interested in improving undergraduate and graduate education. He teaches entry-level microbiology, advanced microbial ecology and geomicrobiology courses.