Dr Patricia Sanchez-Baracaldo

B.Sc.(Los Andes, Bogota), Ph.D.(UC Berkeley)

  • BS8 1SS


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research aims to understand how cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) have contributed to global nutrient cycles (e.g., nitrogen, carbon, oxygen) through geological time. The timing of diversification of some marine cyanobacteria lineages suggests that cyanobacteria have played a key role in regulating the global environment and past climatic events. By studying cyanobacteria evolution my lab aims to understand how these organisms contributed to making our planet increasingly habitable during the early Earth.

Evolution of marine planktonic cyanobacteria

Marine planktonic cyanobacteria first evolved around 800-600 million years ago (Cryogenian). Their origin and diversification appear to be linked to major disruptions to the Earth’s nutrient cycles such as some of the most extreme glaciations (e.g., Snowball Earth) and the widespread oxygenation of the oceans, both of which occurred prior to the emergence of animals.

Marine N-Fixers 

Cyanobacteria from the Cryosphere

Cyanobacteria are major primary producers in glacial ecosystems contributing to nitrogen fixation and organic carbon accumulation. In my lab, we are currently isolating and sequencing cyanobacteria genomes from the Artic and the Antarctica. By studying the evolution of cold-adapted cyanobacteria we aim to understand how cyanobacteria have contributed to past/present nutrient cycles in polar environments during the Earth’s history.

 Lake Huere

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Research Output

  • 29 Article (Academic Journal)
  • 2 Review article (Academic Journal)
  • 1 Chapter in a book
  • 1 Comment/debate (Academic Journal)

Loss of filamentous multicellularity in Cyanobacteria - the extremophile Gloeocapsopsis sp. UTEX B3054 retained multicellular features at the genomic and behavioral level

Urrejola, C., von Dassow, P., van den Engh, G., Salas, L., Mullineaux, C. W., Vicuña, R. & Sanchez-Baracaldo, P., 6 Apr 2020, In : Journal of Bacteriology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Open Access
  • 13 Downloads (Pure)

    Early Archean origin of Photosystem II

    Cardona, T., Sánchez-Baracaldo, P., Rutherford, A. W. & Larkum, A. W., 1 Mar 2019, In : Geobiology. 17, 2, p. 127-150 24 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 18 Citations (Scopus)
    226 Downloads (Pure)

    How did the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis influence the temporal and spatial development of the microbial iron cycle on ancient Earth?

    Schad, M., Konhauser, K. O., Sánchez-Baracaldo, P., Kappler, A. & Bryce, C., 20 Aug 2019, In : Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 140, p. 154-166 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)


    • 1 Fellowship awarded competitively

    Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship - Cyanobacteria’s impact on nutrient cycles and climate change in the early Earth.

    Patricia Sanchez-Baracaldo (Recipient)

    1 Jan 20121 Jan 2017

    Activity: Other activity typesFellowship awarded competitively