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Microbiology Logo Microbiology & Immunology
Te Tari Moromoroiti me te Ārai Mate

Dr Sergio Morales

Research interests:

Environmental microbiology, Microbial ecology, Soil microbiology, Marine microbiology, Microbial population and community ecology

Current research:

My research utilizes molecular microbial ecology techniques and bioinformatics to tackle questions linked to environmental microbial communities. My interests centers on understanding what microbes are found where, why and the repercussions of their actions, specifically on biogeochemical cycles. I take advantage of time series to understand community assembly processes and their relevance on biogeochemical cycling. 


My work uses two model systems: 

  1. Agricultural systems (mostly agricultural soils) and their links to microbial communities, specifically on their contributions to greenhouse gas emissions.

  2. Marine ecosystems: I have co-developed the MOTS (Munida Microbial Observatory Time-Series; project. This long-term ecological research site focuses on time series analysis of microbial communities within marine communities in the NZ Subtropical Frontal Zone. 


Past and present funding

  • Ministry for Primary Industries-EJP-Soils
  • Ministry for Primary Industries-New Zealand Fund for Global Partnerships in Livestock Emissions Research
  • Ministry for Primary Industries ERA-GAS
  • National Science Challenges-Our Land and Water 
  • Callaghan Innovation
  • The University of Otago
  • Otago Energy Research Centre
  • Mainland Minerals