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Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Peter Girguis

Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology


The oceans are the largest habitat on Earth, representing 80% of our biosphere. Nevertheless, we know relatively little about the deep ocean, in particular about the microbes — Archaea and Bacteria — that live there. To date, our knowledge of the role that marine microbes play in mediating biogeochemical cycles is limited because A) the vast majority have eluded cultivation, and B) the technical challenges of working the deep ocean (immense pressures and corrosively) have hindered our ability to conduct experiments in situ.

A more comprehensive understanding of microbially mediated biogeochemical processes requires a more thorough and quantitative investigation of marine microbial physiology and ecology, both in situ and ex situ. Here we present our research interests, study sites, and some of the approaches we have developed to conduct our research. We employ molecular microbiological and geochemical approaches to ally microbial identity with metabolic activity, and it is our goal to further our understanding of the microbial world through concerted, multidisciplinary research.