Jacek Wierzchoś

Strona Polskiego Towarzystwa Astrobiologicznego.

 Jacek Wierzchos is a Research Scientist at the National Museum of Natural Sciences (Spanish National Research Council). He earned a MSc in Chemistry and a PhD in Chemical Sciences at the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1990. J. Wierzchos is an expert in geomicrobiology of microbial ecosystems in extremely arid environments and skilled for the use of electron and photon microscopy. J. Wierzchos is a co-author of a pioneer method to study extant or extinct microorganisms inside rocks. His current investigation lines can be summarized as: life, death, biomineralization and fossilization of lithobiontic microorganisms and their importance as biosignatures. These investigation lines develop ways to search the intracellular and extracellular secondary metabolites and provide us with a more solid background for speculations regarding the applicability of these biomelecules in biotecnology. J. Wierzchos is lead of the group that discovered several novel photosynthetic niches in the core of the Atacama Desert. Actually his major areas of interest are the studies of endolithic microbial communities, their adaptation to desert extreme environment, characterization of desert’s habitable rocks architecture and identification of secondary metabolites with potential application in biotecnology.