School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Maria Del Carmen Montero-Calasanz

Lecturer in Biology of Actinomycetes


Area of Expertise

Bioprospecting of plant-growth promoting bacteria. Microbial systematics. Phylogenomics. Comparative and functional (meta)genomics. Formulation, application and monitoring bioinoculants for sustainable agriculture. Ecological and functional role of actinobacteria of arid- and degraded ecosystems in relation to soil microbial community, soil formation and erosion, and plant-microbes interactions. Management of soil-plant-microbe system  for sustainable agriculture and restoration of soil fertility.

 Google Scholar Profile


Lecturer in Biology of Actinomycetes


  • HEA fellowship (UK), 2017
  • PhD Biology, University of Seville (Spain), 2011
  • MSc Molecular Genetics and Microbial Biotechnology, University of Seville (Spain), 2008
  • PGCE, Complutense University of Madrid (Spain), 2005
  • BSc Biology, University of Seville (Spain), 2003

Previous Positions

  • Postdoctoral researcher, Leibniz  Institute- DSMZ, Braunschweig (Germany) , 2011-2015 
  • Research Associate, BIOAVAN SL, Seville (Spain), 2010


  • Postdoctoral Research Contract awarded by Postdoctoral Fellowship Program of Leibniz Institute-DSMZ. 2013-2015
  • Recognition in Good Labour Practice by IFAPA. 2012
  • Postdoctoral Research Contract awarded by IFAPA. 2011-2012
  • Predoctoral Research Grant awarded (FPI) by INIA. 2006-2010


14 International SCI Journals.


Research line

The Montero-Calasanz´s Lab is a research group dedicated to provide agri-environmental biotech solutions based on actinomycetes to challenges associated to the use or misuse of bio-resources in arid in semi-arid ecosystems in a sustainable framework. For that, our research projects wisely combine fundamental aspects of microbial diversity, systematic, ecology, and functional genomics with the development of biotechnological applications for agricultural and environmental purposes establishing interdisciplinary links with bioinformatics, biological modelling, and synthetic biology. We efficiently match a range of complementary wet- and dry-lab techniques encompassing microbiology, plant-microbe interactions, plant physiology, functional and comparative genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and statistics having a particular interest in applying cutting-edge technologies, such as high-throughput sequencing and mass spectrometry, for sustainability and efficiency in the use of natural resources.

Our projects

  • Biology and biotechnological application of the order Geodermatophilales (internal funding) (PI)
  • Development of a detection system for bioinoculants based on "in situ" metatranscriptomics (funded by IAFRI-Fera Science Ltd.) (PI).
  • Interactive visualisation of temporal multi-omic data (funded by EPSRC) (Co-PI).
  • Characterisation of myrosinase producing microorganisms and their potential exploitation in biofumigation systems (funded by BBSRC) (Co-PI).
  • New approaches to the restoration of semi-arid soils. CO2 fluxes and molecular markers (funded by Spanish Government) (Team member).
  • The Genomic Encyclopaedia of Bacteria and Archaea (GEBA) project (funded by DOE JGI-DSMZ) (team member).

Current members 

  • Adnan Yaramis (PhD Candidate). Title: Development of a detection system for bioinoculants based on "in situ" metatranscriptomics. Primary supervision.
  • David hodhson (PhD candidate). Title: Characterisation of myrosinase producing microorganisms and their potential exploitation in biofumigation systems. Co-supervision.
  • Hugh Garner (PhD candidate). Title: Interactive visualisation of temporal multi-omic data. Co-supervision. 

Our lab is always happy to host UG and PG research projects and guest internships. Informal enquiries about potential PhD projects related to our research interests are welcomed. Please contact Maria del Carmen Montero-Calasanz to discuss opportunities to join the group.









Undergraduate Teaching

Stage 1

  • Biology in Action (BIO1010)
  • Microbiology 1 (BIO1004)

Stage 2

  • Microbiology 2 (BIO2017; Module leader)
  • Bioprospecting (BIO2033)
  • Employability Skills for Biologists (BIO2021)

Stage 3

  • Genomics (BIO 3019; Module leader)
  • Molecular Evolution and Systematics (BIO3041)
  • Research Projects (BIO3196)

Postgraduate teaching 

  • Research Thesis (BIO8096)
  • Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics (BIO8071)