Peter R. Girguis

Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Phone: 617-496-8328
Office: 2085 Bio Labs
16 Divinity Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138


We study the physiology and biochemistry of deep sea microorganisms, with an emphasis on carbon and nitrogen metabolism, to better understand their role in mediating local and global biogeochemical cycles. We also study the physiological relationships (such as nutrient exchange and immune responses) between microbes and animals in natural systems. To that end, we apply traditional or modern geochemical and molecular technologies -and develop new technologies- to interrogate physiological and biochemical processes in natural systems or laboratory simulations.

Recent Publications

Fisher, C. R. and Girguis, P.R. 2007. A proteomic snapshot of life at a vent. Science 315: 198-199.

McBride, L. R.*, Girguis, P.R*. and Reimers, C.E. 2006. Power Storage and Conversion from an Ocean Microbial Energy Source. In: Proceedings of the Marine Technology Society/Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Oceans Conference, Boston, MA.

Girguis, P.R. and Childress, J.J. 2006. Metabolite uptake, stoichiometry and chemoautotrophic function of the hydrothermal vent tubeworm Riftia pachyptila: responses to environmental variations in substrate concentrations and temperature. Journal of Experimental Biology 209(Pt 18): 3516-28.

Girguis, P.R. and Lee, R.W. 2006. Thermal tolerance and preference of alvinellids. Science, April 14, 312(5771): 231.

Reimers, C.*, Girguis, P.R*., Stecher, H., Westall, J. 2006. Geochemical and genomic insights into microbial fuel cell energy from ocean cold seeps. Geobiology 4: 123–136.

Girguis, P.R., Cozen, A., and DeLong, E.E. 2005. Growth rates of methane-oxidizing archaeal-bacterial consortia in deep-sea marine sediments: insights into the physiology of microbially-mediated anaerobic methane oxidation. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 71: 3725-3733.

Courses Taught

OEB 191: Physiological and Biochemical Adaptation

OEB 279: Topics in Microbial Metabolic Systems


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