Staff Researcher


Phone: (34) 93 230 95 00

Maria Montserrat Sala

I am researcher at the Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC). During my PhD at the Institut für Seenforschung in Langenargen, Germany, (1990-1994) and several stays at the Max-Planck-Institut für Limnologie in Plön (Germany) I focused on the role of microbial communities in the degradation of detritus in freshwaters. In 1994 I started working at the Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC), since 2008 as a permanent scientist.

My main research interests at the ICM are the diversity and activity of microorganisms and their role in the biogeochemical cycles of the ocean, although lately the atmosphere has also fascinated me. In our research, my group applies molecular tools as Illumina or CARD-FISH and to determine the potential use of specific carbon sources we assess the activity of selected extracellular enzymes or the utilization of a large set of carbon sources in Biolog plates.

This is a selection of my latest research topic interests:

  • Characterization and quantification of airborne microorganisms in coastal areas
  • Effects of atmospheric inputs on the activity and diversity of marine bacteria
  • Impacts of ocean acidification on marine microbial communities
  • Functional diversity of microorganisms in the global ocean
  • The role of particles on the activity and diversity of marine microbes
  • Microorganisms in the deep ocean and nepheloid layers
  • Microlayers as a site of increased enzymatic activity
  • Antarctic microorganisms associated to contrasting phytoplankton blooms



X. Corrales, M. Coll, S. Tecchio, J.M. Bellido, A.M. Fernández, I. Palomera
Journal of Marine Systems, 148, 183-199. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2015.03.006

L.R. Centurioni, V. Hormann, Y. Chao, G. Reverdin, J. Font, D.-K. Lee
Oceanography, 28, 96-105. DOI: 10.5670/oceanog.2015.08


FESTIVAL - From boreal spring to summer Tropical Atlantic inter-annual variability
Funding entity: UNION EUROPEAStart: 13/03/2019End: 13/03/2019