Peter R. Girguis

Peter R. Girguis

Professor of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology - Harvard University


Adjunct Research Engineer - Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

His research resides at the crossroads of microbial ecology, physiology, and biogeochemistry, and as such is highly interdisciplinary. He uses the appropriate combinations of molecular biology (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, qPCR, mutagenesis), as well as physiological and geochemical techniques (gas chromatography, in situ and laboratory mass spectrometry, in situ and laboratory isotope analyses, x-ray diffraction, atomic spectroscopy) to examine the relationship between microbial diversity/physiology and biogeochemical cycles. Due to the limitations of existing in situ measurement and incubation technologies, he and his lab have develop novel instruments and samplers that enable them to better study microbial-geochemical relationships. This includes high-pressure systems to mimic natural environments, in situ geochemical sensors, in situ microbial fuel cells as experimental apparatus and power sources, and novel in situ preservation technologies.

He received his B.Sc. from UCLA, where he also worked with Drs. David Chapman and William Hamner. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Barbara, where he worked with Dr. James Childress on the physiological and biochemical adaptation of deep-sea hydrothermal vent tubeworms and their microbial symbionts to the vent environment. He did postdoctoral research at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute with Dr. Edward Delong on the growth and population dynamics of anaerobic methanotrophs.