Carles Pedrós-Alió - 22 Nov 2017

"Bacteria and Climate Change"

November 22, 2017


There is still considerable uncertainty as to the way in which the biosphere will respond to climate change. In the case of microorganisms, predictions are particularly difficult. This is due to the huge diversity and large adaptability of microbial assemblages to changing conditions. I will consider first what climate change can do to bacteria, in particular whether extinction of bacterial species is likely. This will require an examination of the current view of microbial diversity as revealed by genomics and metagenomics and worldwide surveys. Finally, I will examine what can bacteria do to climate change and will explore what kind of predictions are possible.


Carlos Pedrós-Alió holds a PhD in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) and is a Research Professor at the National Center for Biotechnology of the CSIC. He has worked for 25 years at the Marine Sciences Institute in Barcelona, CSIC, and is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology. He has worked in both polar areas, hypersaline environments and hot springs in Patagonia, Atacama and Costa Rica. He has been a member of the SCAR-Spain committee, the European Polar Board and the International Census of Marine Microbes. His scientific interest is to understand the ecology and diversity of microorganisms using genomics and massive sequencing. He has published over 200 scientific papers and three outreach books: “Desert d'aigua” (in Catalan), “La vida al limite” (in Spanish) and “Bajo la piel del océano” (in Spanish). He is also interested in birdwatching, fiction writing, the biology of spirituality and the relationship between art and science.