Peter R. Girguis

Peter R. Girguis

Sabbatical, Spring 2021
Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Peter Girguis

Interim Faculty Support: Jennifer Thomson

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

Park, J., Nian Liu, N., Holinski, K., Emerson, D.F., Qiao, K., Woolston, B., Xu, J., Lazar, Z., Islam, M.A., Vidoudez, C., and Girguis, P.R. and Stephanopoulos, G2019. Synergistic substrate cofeeding stimulates reductive metabolism among anaerobes. In press at Nature 

Beinart, R.A., Luo, C., Konstantinidis, K., Stewart, F. and Girguis, P.R., 2019. The bacterial symbionts of closely related hydrothermal vent snails with distinct geochemical habitats show broad similarity in chemoautotrophic gene content. Frontiers in Microbiology10, p.1818

Rowe, A.R., Xu, S., Gardel, E., Bose, A., Girguis, P., Amend, J.P. and El-Naggar, M.Y., 2019. Methane-linked mechanisms of electron uptake from cathodes by Methanosarcina barkeri. mBio10(2), pp.e02448-18

LeBris, N., Yucel, M., Das, A., Sievert, S.M. and Girguis, P.R., 2019. Hydrothermal energy transfer and organic carbon production at the deep seafloor. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5, p.531. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00531

Shah, Walter, S.R., Jaekel, U., Osterholz, H., Fisher, A.T., Huber, J.A., Pearson, A., Dittmar, T., Girguis, P.R. 2018. Microbial decomposition of marine dissolved organic matter in cool oceanic crust. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/s41561-018-0107-5

Courses Taught

OEB 119 Deep Sea Biology
OEB 191 Physiological and Biochemical Adaptation
OEB 194 Laboratory Techniques in Ecological Physiology
OEB 364 Ecological Physiology of Microbes


Contact Information

Biological Laboratories
16 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617-496-8328



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