• LS197_mcm-LBNL-blueProductPhoto

    Biological Technologies

    Ecology scientists are developing biological technologies that are used for energy, environmental, and health applications.

    Read More
  • NGEE-Arctic-Boardwalk-2013

    Environmental Molecular Microbiology

    Our scientists have applied diverse expertise to studies of the metabolic functioning of bacteria and archaea that mediate processes of environmental relevance.

    Read More
  • HEADS-Quinn-Student

    Hydroecological Engineering

    Hydroecological engineers are experts at decision-support systems, deployment of real-time flow and water-quality sensors, and mathematical models.

    Read More


In 1995 the Center for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB) was set up as a multidivisional center under the direction of Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera. In 1998, the Ecology Department was created within the Earth Sciences Division to provide personnel resource management for scientists and engineers within ESD whose expertise was in the general area of ecology, including population ecology, community ecology, systems ecology and environmental engineering. This was a new department, and the personnel were originally scattered among the other ESD departments, though most were originally organized under the CEB. In 1999, the name of the Ecology Department was changed to the Microbial Ecology and Environmental Engineering Department, because it was felt that this more closely reflected the expertise of the small group of scientists and engineers that were within that department. Hydroecological engineering advanced decision support (HEADS) was organized as a new group within the Department in the spring of 2002. This group focused on water and wastewater research, with an initial special emphasis on California water resource issues. The department name was changed back to the Ecology Department in 2004. Today, personnel in the Ecology Department still serve as the primary support staff for the CEB, which houses all of their offices and laboratory facilities.

The expertise that exists within the Ecology Department and the unique facilities provided by the CEB allow the department to provide biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, and environmental engineering support within ESD and Berkeley Lab. Currently, personnel are primarily supported by the three Programs under the Environmental & Biological Systems Sciences Program Area, which are the Environmental Remediation & Water Resources; Ecosystems Biology, and Bioenergy. Additionally, Ecology personnel are supported by various Programs within Energy Resources Program Area and the Climate and Carbon Sciences Program Area.

Core Capabilities


Biological Technologies

Ecology Department scientists are experts at developing biological technologies that are used for energy, environmental, and health applications. Our personnel hold key positions in a wide range of biofuel-related projects, which include discovery of fuel-related biosynthetic enzymes and heterologous expression or re-engineering of fuel-related metabolic pathways in bacteria (including cyanobacteria), algae, and plants. Examples of…


Environmental Molecular Microbiology

Ecology Department scientists have applied diverse expertise to studies of the metabolic functioning of bacteria and archaea that mediate processes of environmental relevance, such as (a) aquifer bioremediation of metals and organic contaminants and (b) biogeochemical cycling of carbon and other elements. Department scientists have the expertise to perform field and laboratory studies of complex…


David Ackerly

Geological Faculty Scientist

Phone: 510-643-6341

Se Eun Ahn Ahn

Phone: 510-495-2511


Gary Andersen

Microbial Ecologist
Senior Scientist

Phone: 510-495-2795
Fax: 510-486-7152

Taivan Batjargal

Phone: (510) 486-4000

Fotios Bekris

Phone: (510) 495-2795


Harry R. Beller

Senior Scientist

Phone: 510-486-7321
Fax: 510-486-7152

Giovanni Birarda

Phone: 510-495-2658


Sharon E Borglin

Senior Research Scientist & Adjunct Associate Professor
Scientific Engineering Associate

Phone: (510) 486-7515

Nicholas Bouskill - Earth Scienced Divison studio portrait.

Nicholas J. Bouskill


Phone: 510-486-7490
Fax: 510-486-5686


Eoin Brodie

Terrestrial Microbiologist
Staff Scientist

Phone: 510-486-6584
Fax: 510-486-7152

Hilary Brunner

Phone: (510) 486-4000

Javier Ceja Navarro - ESD studio portrait.

Javier Arturo Ceja Navarro

Project Scientist

Phone: 510-486-7709


Romy Chakraborty

Research Scientist

Phone: 510-486-4091
Fax: 510-486-7152

Bryson Alvon Cwick

Phone: (510) 486-4091

Rebecca Anne Daly

Phone: (510) 486-6584

Maude M David

Postdoctoral Fellow

Phone: (510) 486-4000


Eric Dubinsky

Project Scientist

Phone: 510-486-5022

Gregory Mark Enns

Phone: (510) 486-5943

Hank Fanchiu

Phone: (510) 486-4000

Kari Finstad

Phone: (510) 486-4498

Mary Firestone

Phone: (510) 642-3677


Jil T. Geller

Principal Scientific Engineering Associate

Phone: 510-486-7313
Fax: 510-486-7079

Dara Goodheart

Phone: (510) 642-4867

Sonali Hande

Phone: (510) 486-4000

Zhao Hao - ALS SSG studio portrait Advanced Light Source (ALS)

Zhao Hao

Scientific Engineering Associate

Phone: 510-486-7094


Terry C Hazen

Guest Sr Scientist

Phone: (707) 631-6763

Elizabeth Holman

Phone: 510-486-5943


Hoi-Ying N. Holman

Director of Berkeley Synchrotron Infrared Structural Biology
Head, Chemical Ecology

Phone: 510-486-5943
Fax: 510-486-7152

ESD portrait in studio Ping Hu. Earth Sciences

Ping Hu

Principle Scientific Engineering Associate

Phone: 510-486-5908

John R Hulls

Phone: (510) 495-2795

Nina Kamennaya

Phone: (510) 495-8007

Ulas Karaoz - Earth Sciences (ESD) portrait

Ulas Karaoz

Project Scientist

Phone: 510-486-4118

Eric King

Phone: (510) 486-6162

Anthony T. Le

Phone: (510) 486-5335

Dedi Liu

Phone: (510) 486-7056

Adrian Low

Phone: (510) 495-2795

William Ludington

Phone: (510) 486-4000

Tryg Lundquist

Phone: (510) 486-4715

Ling Meng

Phone: 510-486-4594

Stephen Morris

Phone: (510) 486-5943

Erin E Nuccio

Phone: (510) 495-2795

Gabrielle Pecora

Phone: (707) 888-8704


Yvette M. Piceno

Research Associate

Phone: 510-486-4498
Fax: 510-486-7152

Sarah Placella

Phone: (510) 495-2795


Emmanuel Prestat

Postdoctoral Fellow

Phone: (510) 495-8082
Fax: 510-486-7152


Nigel William Trevelyan Quinn

HydroEcological Engineering Advanced Decision Support (HEADS)
Group Leader

Phone: 510-486-7056
Fax: 510-486-7152

Greg H. Rau

Phone: (510) 486-7056

John S Reed

Phone: (510) 486-7541

Whendee L. Silver

Faculty Scientist

Phone: 510-486-6223


Mary E. Singer

Senior Research Associate

Phone: 510-486-5808
Fax: 510-486-7152

Neslihan Tas - Earth Sciences (ESD) portrait

Neslihan Tas Baas

Project Scientist

Phone: 510-486-5538
Fax: 510-486-7152

Lauren Tom - ESD studio portrait

Lauren Tom

Research Associate

Phone: 510-486-5884
Fax: 510-486-7152


Tamas Torok

Staff Scientist

Phone: 510-486-5808
Fax: 510-486-7152

Shi Wang

Phone: (510) 495-2657

Xinya Wen

Phone: (510) 486-7487


Evan R. Williams

Faculty Scientist

Phone: 510-643-7161

Kenneth Charles Zahn

Phone: (510) 486-7541

Kateryna Zhalnina

Phone: (510) 486-6584

Xin Zhao

Phone: (510) 495-2987

Jizhong Zhou

Phone: (510) 486-6223

Featured Publications