Dra. Isabel Ferrera

Isabel FerreraI am a microbiologist with experience in environmental microbiology and microbial ecology. My research focuses in understanding the diversity and function of microorganisms and the processes they carry out in different systems, from laboratory models to the ocean. During my scientific career I have gained knowledge in various fields of study such as ecology, oceanography, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, microscopy and bioinformatics. In recent years, I have focused on the ecology of a group of marine photoheterotrophic organisms, the aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria (AAPs). Their discovery in the ocean in the early 2000’s changed our simplistic view of marine carbon cycle, since despite being heterotrophs they have the ability of using the light energy to gain additional energy. My research has focused on studying their abundance, diversity and contribution to carbon cycle, and how biotic and abiotic factors control their dynamics, mainly but not exclusively in the Mediterranean. Currently I work on the European project DEVOTES applying new molecular methods to study microbial biodiversity in marine systems with contrasting anthropogenic influence in order to find potential descriptors that can be used to assess the ecological status of these ecosystems.


E-mail: iferrera@icm.csic.es

Highlighted publications:

  • Ferrera I, Longhorn S, Banta AB, Liu Y, Preston D, Reysenbach AL (2007) Diversity of 16S rRNA gene, ITS region and aclB gene of the Aquificales. Extremophiles 11:57-64.
  • Ferrera I, Gasol JM, Sebastián M, Hojerová E, Koblízek M (2011) Growth rates of aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria as compared to other bacterioplankton groups in coastal Mediterranean waters. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77:7451-7458.
  • Ferrera I, Borrego CM, Salazar G, Gasol JM. (2013) Marked seasonality of aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria in the coastal NW Mediterranean Sea as revealed by cell abundance, pigment concentration and pyrosequencing of pufM gene. Environmental Microbiology doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12278.