Ferran Garcia-Pichel, the Virginia M. Ullman Professor of the Environment in the School of Life Sciences, is one of four new Regents Professors at Arizona State University. Garcia-Pinchel is on the executive committee of the Global Drylands Center.
Garcia-Pichel's discoveries on the roles that microbes play in the environment are considered pioneering and transdisciplinary in his field. His research has enabled convergence of different disciplines combining approaches from biogeochemistry, geomicrobiology and global-change biology, thus opening up new frontiers of research. His research provided much of the most important knowledge of microbial ecology including the ecological and genetic diversity of the cyanobacteria, perhaps the most essential bacteria on the planet. His discoveries are shaping our understanding of the deep history of Earth from deserts to oceans. Ecological research is only beginning to come to grips with some of Garcia-Pichel's newest discoveries.
The breadth of his research is expressed as well by the diversity of funding sources, which range from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to NASA and the Department of Defense. Ferran has published more than 170 articles with citations totaling over 14,000. He sustained all of this research even during his service as dean of natural sciences, a testament to his commitment to ASU.