Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Peter Girguis is a Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He received his B.Sc. from UCLA, his Ph.D. from the UC Santa Barbara, and was a Packard Postdoctoral Fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. He joined the Harvard University faculty in 2005. He has been a member of the Harvard faculty ever since, and now serves as a Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Co-Director of the Harvard Microbial Sciences Initiative.
Broadly speaking, Professor Girguis studies how animals and microbes have evolved to thrive in their particular environments and, in turn, how their metabolic activities shape those environments. He is especially interested in animal-microbial partnerships, from the microbe-animal symbioses at hydrothermal vents to the gut microbiomes of baleen whales, and their responses to a changing world. He is also known for developing novel “open-design” instruments such as underwater mass spectrometers and microbial samplers, for use underwater. He strives to make these tools available to the broadest research community, with the goal of democratizing science around the world.
Professor Girguis was a Distinguished Lecturer for the National Science Foundation’s RIDGE program, a Merck Co. Innovative Research Awardee, and two-term chair of the National Deep Submergence Science Committee. He serves on several notable boards, including the Ocean Exploration Trust and the Schmidt Marine Technology Partners. He has authored or co-authored over 115 publications, and his honors include the 2007 and 2011 Lindbergh Foundation Award for Science & Sustainability, the 2018 Lowell Thomas Award for groundbreaking advances in Marine Science and Technology, and the 2020 Petra Shattuck Award for Distinguished Teaching. He was recently named a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Investigator for his research on marine symbioses.