Faculty Colloquium: Rosa León Zayas

Please join us on Thursday, October 1, at 4:10 p.m. at this URL:


for our first Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Title: Going Deeper: Microbial Diversity and Metabolic Potential in the Marine Deep Biosphere

Presenter: Rosa León Zayas, Assistant Professor of Biology

Rosa Zayas

Abstract:  Exploration of the deep ocean has expanded our understanding of oceanic ecosystems, including continental margins and mid-ocean ridges, and yet still little is known about these deep sites on Earth. Some of the most poorly understood ecosystems are subsurface environments, particularly as it pertains to the distribution of archaea and their associated metabolic abilities. In this presentation, I will share an overview of some of the work I conducted during my junior research leave, which includes the discussion of a recently published analysis of the archaeal community structure and their potential ecological roles, and preliminary results on our most recently NSF funded work on PET Plastic degrading bacteria. Overall, this research seeks to reveal the metabolic potential of novel archaeal lineages, which significantly contributes to our overall understanding of the ecosystem function of subsurface sedimentary environments.Additionally, by studying the metabolic capacity of microorganisms that degrade PET Plastic, we can better understand their mechanisms for degrading one of the largest sources of pollutants, single use plastics, with the ultimate goal of building upon that potential to generate a more efficient degradation process in order to eventually assist with the reduction of this man made environmental pollutant.

Bill Kelm and Kathryn Nyman
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators