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Genoveva Esteban

Professor of Microbial Ecology, Bournemouth University

Prof Esteban's research focusses on biodiversity at the microbial level in order to understand and predict the functioning of aquatic systems, and by defining the role played by microbes in the natural environment and food webs. Her current research is two fold: (1) she leads a programme to link science with conservation through research on `cryptic' biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems. `Cryptic' biodiversity refers to organisms invisible to the naked eye that have (until now) been excluded from conservation surveys and habitat management practice - yet, they are the foundations of food webs and help habitats to bounce back in response to environmental change. The work is in partnership with Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) and Pond Conservation Trust. One of the key outputs of her research is the inclusion of `cryptic' biodiversity in conservation guidelines and habitat management plans in a variety of nature reserves in Dorset (UK); (2) characterisation at molecular and morphological levels of the rare aquatic microbial consortia that thrive in woodland ponds, some being new species to science. These rare habitats sustain a rather large reservoir of undocumented microbial species and microbial consortia. The research of this 'oasis' of microbes is supported by grants from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, NERC, the EU, and The Systematics Association (UK).

Prof Esteban is also a dynamic Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador; her public engagement activities and work with schools to promote aquatic sciences received a national award in the House of Lords; she has also been the runner up to the prestigious Society of Biology Science Communication Awards for Established Researchers.


  • 2016–present
    Professor, Bournemouth University


    Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain), PhD


  • 2023
    , >120 publications

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow of the Zoological Society of London; Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology