Dr. Aspasia Chatziefthimiou

Research Gate

Dr. Chatziefthimiou received a B.Sc. in Biology from Montclair State University, and her M.Sc. in Microbiology and Ph.D. in Microbial Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University, USA. The focus of her M.Sc. research was on the evolution of mercury detoxification mechanisms of extremophilic bacteria in ecosystems where mercury is geothermally emitted (advisors: Drs. T. Barkay and C. Vetriani). One of the bacteria she isolated from deep-sea hydrothermal vent samples during her dive on board the Deep Submersible Vehicle Alvin was characterized as the novel species hydrothermalis of the Genus Salinisphaera.
Dr. Chatziefthimiou’s Ph.D. research focused on industrial mercury pollution of riverine floodplains and the development of a new molecular tool that uses bacteria as bio-indicators of the magnitude of mercury pollution (advisor: Dr. T. Barkay). Dr. Chatziefthimiou joined the Richer Lab at Weill Cornell Medical School in Qatar in May 2013 as a Postdoctorate Fellow. In collaboration with the Research Team at the Institute for Ethnomedicine, she studies the ecology of desert cyanobacteria; the environmental parameters that accelerate cyanotoxin production; and human exposure to cyanotoxins through water, food and air. In addition to her micro-ecological work, Dr. Chatziefthimiou is involved in research projects pertaining to the distribution of plants and behavior of lizards in sand dune ecosystems of the desert; she is a member of the Urban Ecology think tank in Qatar, whose aim is to conserve biodiversity hot spots in the rampant infrastructure developing country; and a Board member of the Qatar Natural History Group leading citizen science projects.

 Recent Publications