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 ofecologicalimportance, including the formation and destruction of minerals, the prevention of soil erosion, or the biogeochemicalcycling of nutrients.
His current foci on microbial adaptations involve studying mechanisms carbonatedissolution, the production of sunscreen compounds, and the microbial ability to produce hydrogen from water. Current applied aspects of their researchincludedeveloping 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.
Professor Garcia-Pichel is also interested in improving undergraduate and graduate education. He teaches entry-level microbiology, advanced microbial ecology and geomicrobiology courses. He joined the faculty of Arizona State University in 2002.