Extraordinari Doctoral Award for a thesis supervised by researchers from CEAB-CSIC

The University of Barcelona has distinguished Mateu Menéndez with an Extraordinary Doctorate Award for his thesis, which helps to understand how microorganisms group and thrive in extreme ecosystems.

The thesis Understanding stochastic and deterministic microbial assembly process in ephemeral saline lakes was carried out at the CEAB-CSIC and was supervised by Emilio O. Casamayor and David Alonso.

The field work was carried out in the ephemeral saline lagoons of the Los Monegros desert during three consecutive hydrological cycles. The extreme and highly dynamic conditions that occur there -such as large salinity fluctuations or extreme PH levels- were the perfect setting to investigate the adaptation and interactions of microbes in highly adverse environments.

The starting point was to determine what microscopic life the lakes contained. Then they looked at how wide fluctuations in salinity and other changes that occur affected different types of microorganisms. The research then turned to how microbes grouped together to thrive in this extreme ecosystem; what caused, under certain conditions, one or the other microbial community to meet.

The research made it possible to describe the biological ensemble from an unusual combination of mechanistic and integrative points of view.

A recognition for the best doctoral thesis

Mateu Menéndez received the news of the award from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), where he currently works as a post-doctoral researcher, analyzing ancestral microbial communities.

The Extraordinary Doctorate Awards are granted to the authors of the most relevant theses of each academic year and are the highest recognition that these research works can receive at the university. Now, the University of Barcelona has announced the awards for the 2021/22 academic year, to which Menéndez’s thesis is attached.

Additional information:
Understanding stochastic and deterministic microbial assembly processes in ephemeral saline lakes, clicant aquí