Professor Craig Cary

Theme leader: Antarctic Ecosystems

Qualifications: BSc Florida Institute of Technology, MSc San Diego State, PhD University of California

Professor Craig Cary is a microbial ecologist with an interest in researching bacteria which live in extreme environments, such as deep sea thermal vents and the soils of Antarctica. He heads the International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research (ICTAR) in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and has made eight research trips to Antarctica since 2001. His work on terrestrial Antarctic biocomplexity was awarded an International Polar Year award in 2007. Dr Cary's current research projects also include deep sea hydrothermal vent research, lake restoration work, and toxic sea slugs. He is based at the Thermophile Research Unit, University of Waikato and is Emeritus Professor of Marine Biosciences as the University of Delaware in the USA.

Research Interests

Comparative physiology, biochemistry and ecology of microbial communities, with a focus on free-living syntrophic bacterial associations in extreme environments including hydrothermal vents and Antarctic soils. The use of high through-put genomic and molecular approaches to resolve biochemical adaptations to life in these extreme geochemical environments. Interfacing new bioinformatic capabilities with genomic technologies in the metagenome analysis of complex microbial communities. Thermal stability of eurythermal proteins.

Recent Publications

  • Pasulka, A., Hu, S. K., Countway, P. D., Coyne, K. J., Cary, S. C., Heidelberg, K. B., & Caron, D. A. (2019). SSU-rRNA gene sequencing survey of benthic microbial eukaryotes from Guaymas Basin Hydrothermal Vent. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. doi:10.1111/jeu.12711

  • Archer, S. D. J., Lee, K. C., Caruso, T., Maki, T., Lee, C. K., Cary, S. C., . . . Pointing, S. B. (2019). Airborne microbial transport limitation to isolated Antarctic soil habitats. Nature Microbiology. doi:10.1038/s41564-019-0370-4

  • MacIntyre, C., Risk, D., Lee, C. K., & Cary, S. C. (2019). Processes driving soil CO<inf>2</inf> temporal variability in Antarctic Dry Valleys. Geoderma, 337, 871-879. doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2018.09.050

  • Rego, A., Raio, F., Martins, T. P., Ribeiro, H., Sousa, A. G., Silva, J., . . . Magalhães, C. (2019). Actinobacteria and cyanobacteria diversity in terrestrial Antarctic microenvironments using culture-dependent and independent methods. Frontiers in Microbiology. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.01018 Open Access version:

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Contact Details

Room: TRU.G.23
Phone: +64 7 838 4593