Isabel Ferrera

When did you first find out that you wanted to be scientist? I knew I wanted to be a biologist since I was a kid but it was during my college internship that I found out I wanted to be a researcher.
Tell us something about your background and main research interests I am a microbiologist with experience in environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, physiology and evolution. My research interests focus in understanding the diversity and function of microorganisms and the processes they carry out from engineered ecosystems to the global ocean.
What do you like most about your work? What I like about doing research is that every project is a new challenging adventure. Doing marine research is particularly exciting because due to the immensity of the ocean, a small discovery can have a big impact on the way we understand the functioning of our planet.
What is your role in DEVOTES project? In DEVOTES, I am involved in the application of new DNA sequencing techniques to understand marine microbial biodiversity and to assess the environmental status of marine ecosystems.
How do you think your work in DEVOTES will contribute to the implementation of the EU marine strategy framework directive? Our group at CSIC is involved in the application of innovative genetic tools to to assess the environmental status of marine ecosystems. Because of the increasing power and decreasing costs of these new technologies, they
are enabling the exploration of microbial diversity at an unprecedented scale. We expect that, once implemented in a standardized manner, they will represent a cheap, fast and powerful tool in marine monitoring programs, and thus may be incorporated by the EU marine strategy framework directive.
What´s the relevance for your institute and country to participate in DEVOTES? CSIC contributes to DEVOTES mainly in two aspects: testing and redefining existing indicators and in development of new monitoring techniques by applying innovative genetic tools.
What´s your recommended reading list for someone wanting to know more about marine environment and DEVOTES topic? For general information about the sea I suggest people to visit the outreach website of our institute (ICM Dilvuga: and for plankton information visit Plankton Chronicles website (