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Dr Marcela Teresa Hernandez Garcia BSc, MSc, PhD

Research Fellow in Environmental Microbiology

Dr Marcela Teresa Hernandez Garcia's photo
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Dr Marcela Hernandez joined Biological Sciences as a NERC Research fellow in Environmental Microbiology.

Career History

2016-Present: NERC Research Fellow in Environmental Microbiology. University of Southampton, UK.
2015-2016: Visiting Fellow. University of Southampton, UK.
2012-2015: Max Planck Research Fellow. Department of Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, Germany.
2013-2015: Scientific Coordinator. International Max Planck Research School for Environmental, Cellular and Molecular Microbiology (IMPRS-Mic), Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, Germany.
2010-2012: Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow. Department of Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, Germany.

Academic Qualifications

2010: PhD (Natural Resources). Universidad de La Frontera, Chile.
2007: MSc (Natural Resources). Universidad de La Frontera, Chile.
2004: BSc (Marine Biology). Universidad Catolica Ssma. Concepcion, Chile.




Research interests

I am fascinated by the important role of microorganisms (bacteria and archaea) in different ecosystems. I want to understand how communities can establish in soils that have been perturbed either by human manipulation or by a natural disturbance. My research area focuses on total microbial community (16S rRNA gene in bacteria and archaea) and specifically in herbicide-degrading bacteria (atz genes), ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms (nitrifiers AOA and AOB, amoA genes), methane-oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs, pmoA genes) and anaerobic methane-producers by archaea (methanogens, mcrA genes). I study their role in several agricultural soils (from Chile, Germany and China), flooded rice and upland soybean fields (from China) and volcanic soils (from Chile). My current project is to identify antimicrobial resistant bacteria in soil by using stable isotope probing (SIP). We aim to discover which bacteria constitute the soil resistome in different British soils. We also want to understand if horizontal gene transfer (HGT) occurs between potential pathogens within soil microbiomes.

I use culture-dependent (isolation, characterization and identification of bacteria) and culture-independent techniques, 13CO2-SIP and high throughput Illumina sequence to assess community diversity and obtain a distinctive fingerprint of the microbial community.

1) Microbe-plant interaction in rice root and rizhosphere
2) Soil microbiology and ecology in herbicide-treated agricultural soils
3) Total microbial communities with focus in nitrifiers and methanogens in soils
4) Antimicrobial resistant bacteria in soil microbiomes

Llaima Volcano, Temuco Chile
Llaima Volcano, Temuco Chile
Rice plant labelled with 13CO2
Rice plant labelled with 13CO2

Research group

Environmental Biosciences

Affiliate research group

Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)

Research project(s)

Occurrence and horizontal gene transfer of carbapenemase and ESBL genes in soil microbiomes


Book Chapters



Dr Marcela Teresa Hernandez Garcia
Biological Sciences
Faculty of Natural & Environmental Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

Room Number:85/6041

Dr Marcela Teresa Hernandez Garcia's personal home page
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