Isabel Ferrera

A microbial ecologist, she studies the diversity and functions of microorganisms in nature, with a focus on oceans.

© Image courtesy of Isabel Ferrera

Isabel Ferrera, a microbial ecologist, works in the Malaga Oceanographic Centre, which comes under the auspices of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO-CSIC). She studied Biology and has a doctorate in Microbiology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona where she received the Extraordinary PhD Award. She has made postdoctoral visits to institutions in the United States and Germany, as well as to the Institute of Marine Sciences in Barcelona (ICM-CSIC). She is currently head researcher of the “Plankton Ecology and Environmental Challenges Group”, in which she leads research projects on marine microbial biodiversity, which analyse the role it plays in biogeochemical cycles, especially in those of carbon and nitrogen.

She has taken part in numerous scientific expeditions in several seas (the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Sargasso Sea), oceans (Atlantic and Pacific), and in the Antarctic. On two of these expeditions, she descended to the Deep East Pacific Rise in the deep submersible Alvin. She is presently studying one of the most vulnerable marine systems in the Mediterranean, namely the Mar Menor coastal lagoon. She has published dozens of scientific papers and educational works. She is presently Secretary of the Iberian Society of Ecology (SIBECOL).

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