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Roman A. Barco 



Twitter: @NovelMicrobes

Address: University of Southern California, 

825 Bloom Walk, ACB 303

Los Angeles, California 90089-0740



  • Assistant Research Professor, University of Southern California, 2021 - present

  • Research Scientist, University of Southern California, July 2020 - 2021

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Southern California, August 2017 - June 2020 (advisor: Jan Amend)

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences / University of Southern California, August 2015 - July 2017 (advisors: David Emerson and Kenneth Nealson)

  • Postdoctoral Scholar - Research Associate, University of Southern California, September 2014 - July 2015 (advisor: Katrina Edwards).


University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Ph.D in Biological Sciences, 2014

California State University, Los Angeles, B. S in Microbiology, 2004


  • National Science Foundation - Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology, 2015 - 2017.

  • Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) - Graduate Student Fellowship,

  • USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies - Graduate Student Summer Fellowship, 2011.

  • USC Outstanding TA Award, 2008.

  • USC Marine Environmental Biology Tyler Merit Fellowship, 2007.

2010 - present




  1. Murray, A.E., Freudenstein, J., Gribaldo, S., Hatzenpichler, R., Hugenholtz, P., Kampfer, P., Konstantinidis, K.T., Lane, C.E., Papke, R.T., Parks, D.H., Rossello-Mora, R., Stott, M.B., Sutcliffe, I.C., Thrash, J.C., Venter, S.N., Whitman, W.B., Acinas, S.G., Amann, R.I., Anantharaman, K., Armengaud, J., Baker, B.J., Barco, R.A., Bode, H.B., Boyd, E.S., Brady, C.L., Carini, P., Chain, P.S.G., Colman, D.R., DeAngelis, K.M., Asuncion de los Rios, M., Estrada-de los Santos, P., Dunlap, C.A., Eisen, J.A., Emerson, D., Ettema, T.J.G., Eveillard, D., Girguis, P.R., Hentschel, U., Hollibaugh, J.T., Hug, L.A., Inskeep, W.P., Ivanova, E.P., Klenk, H.P., Li, W.J., Lloyd, K.G., Loffer, F.E., Makhalanyane, T.P., Moser, D.P., Nunoura, T., Palmer, M., Parro, V., Pedrós-Alió, C., Probst, A.J., Smits, T.H.M., Steen, A.D., Steenkamp, E.T., Spang, A., Stewart, F.J., Tiedje, J.M., Vandamme, P., Wagner, M., Wang, F.P., Hedlund, B.P., and Reysenbach, A.L. (2020) Roadmap for naming uncultivated Archaea and Bacteria. Nature Microbiology. (LINK)

  2. Barco, R.A., Garrity, G.M., Scott, J.J., Amend, J., Nealson, K.H., Emerson, D. (2020) A genus definition for Bacteria and Archaea based on a standard genome relatedness index. mBio. (LINK) 

  3. Garber, A.I., Nealson. K.H., Okamoto, A., McAllister S.M., Chan C.S., Barco, R.A., Merino, N. (2020) FeGenie: a comprehensive tool for the identification of iron genes and iron gene neighborhoods in genome and metagenome assemblies. Frontiers in Microbiology. (LINK)  

  4. Lopez, A.*, Albino, D.*, Beraki, S.*, Broomell, S.*, Canela, R.*, Dingmon, T.*, Estrada, S.*, Fernandez, M.*, Savalia, P., Nealson, K., Emerson, D., Barco, R.A., Tully, B.J., Amend, J.P. (2019) Genome sequence of Mariprofundus sp. strain EBB-1, a novel marine autotroph isolated from an iron-sulfur mineral. Microbiology Resource Announcements. (LINK)  

  5. McVeigh, D., Skarke, A., Dekas, A.E., Borrelli, C., Hong, W.-L., Marlow, J., Pasulka, A., Jungbluth, S.P., Barco, R.A., Djurhuus, A. (in-press) Characterization of benthic biogeochemistry and ecology at three methane seep sites on the Northern U.S. Atlantic margin. Deep-Sea Research Part II.

  6. Neely, C., Bou Khalil, C., Cervantes, A., Diaz, R., Escobar, A., Ho, K., Hoefler, S., Smith, H.H., Abuyen, K., Savalia, P., Nealson, K.H., Emerson, D., Tully, B., Barco, R.A., Amend, J. (2018) Genome sequence of Hydrogenovibrio sp. strain SC-1, a chemolithoautotrophic sulfur and iron oxidizer. Genome Announcements. (LINK)

  7. He, S., Barco, R.A., Emerson, D., and Roden E.E. (2017) Comparative genomic analysis of neutrophilic iron(II) oxidizer genomes for candidate genes in extracellular electron transfer. Front. Microbiol. 8:1584.  (LINK)

  8. Barco, R.A., Hoffman, C.L., Ramirez, G.A., Toner, B.M., Edwards, K.J., and Sylvan, J.B. (2017) In-situ incubation of iron-sulfur mineral reveals a diverse chemolithoautotrophic community and a new biogeochemical role for Thiomicrospira. Environmental Microbiology. 19(3):1322-1337.  (LINK)

  9. Ramirez, G.A., Hoffman, C.L., Lee, M.D., Lesniewski, R.A., Barco, R.A.., Garber, A., Toner, B.M.,Wheat, C.G., Edwards, K.J., Orcutt, B.N. (2016). Assessing marine microbial induced corrosion at Santa Catalina Island, California. Front. Microbiol.  (LINK)

  10. Barco, R.A., Emerson, D., Sylvan, J.B., Orcutt, B.N., Jacobson Meyers, M.E., Ramírez, G.A.,Zhong, J.D., Edwards, K.J. (2015). New insight into microbial iron oxidation as revealed by the proteomic profile of an obligate iron-oxidizing chemolithoautotroph. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 81(17):5927-37.  (LINK)

  11. Barco, R.A.. and Edwards, K.J. (2014). Interactions of proteins with biogenic iron oxyhydroxides and a new culturing technique to increase biomass yields of neutrophilic, iron-oxidizing bacteria. Front. Microbiol. 5:259. (LINK)

  12. Bennett, S.A., Toner, B.M., Barco, R.A., and Edwards, K.J. (2014). Carbon adsorption by Fe oxyhydroxide stalks produced by a lithotrophic iron-oxidizing bacteria. Geobiology.  (LINK)

  13. Orcutt, B.N., Barco, R.A.., Joye, S.B., Edwards, K.J. (2012). Summary of carbon, nitrogen, and iron leaching characteristics and fluorescence properties of materials considered for subseafloor observatory assembly. Proc. IODP. 336:  (LINK)

  14. Singer, E., Emerson, D., Webb, E.A.,Barco, R.A., Kuenen, J.G., Nelson, W.C., Chan, C.S., Comolli, L.R., Ferriera, S., Johnson, J., Heidelberg, J.F., Edwards, K.J. (2011). Mariprofundus ferrooxydans PV-1 the first genome of a marine Fe (II) oxidizing Zetaproteobacterium. PLoS ONE. 6 (9): e25386.  (LINK)

  15. Barco, R.A., Patil, D.G., Xue, W., Ke, L., Khachikian, C.S., Hanrahan, G., Salmassi, T.M. (2006). The development of iodide-based methods for batch and on-line determinations of phosphite in aqueous samples. Talanta. 69: 1292-1299. (LINK)

2010 - present

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