I am a microbial ecologist interested in the diversity of extreme environments. I started my professional carrier in the Applied Microbiological Unit at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) with which I have been associated since 1989. There, I have been mainly involved in the area of water treatment and anaerobic digestion.

In 1998 I started my appointment at the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), in the laboratory of Extremophiles. I am a member of the Planetology and Habitability in this center associated to the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). The characterization of extreme environments and their microbial diversity have been my main lines of research. I have been involved for almost thirty years in the study of Río Tinto, an extreme acidic environment in the SW of Spain, which is today considered one of the best geochemical and mineralogical analogue of Mars.

Other extreme environments of interest in my carrier are the anaerobic sediments of Tirez and Uyuni salt lakes and the Trapani salterns. In the last seven years I concentrated my work in the characterization of the subsurface of the Iberian Pyrite Belt as the possible origin of Río Tinto and the polyextreme environment of Dallol in the Danakil depression of Ethiopia.

KeywordsAstrobiology, extreme environments,biodiversity, anaerobic systems