In the Anthropocene, plastic pollution is a worldwide concern that must be tackled from different viewpoints, bringing together different areas of science. Microbial transformation of polymers is a broad-spectrum research topic that has become a keystone in the circular economy of plastics. In this context, the lecture aims to highlight the main microbial research priorities in this field. In addition, show up some of the scientific results associated to the design of novel lignocellulolytic microbial communities and their genomic potential for the transformation of plastics. Moreover, release preliminary results associated with the project entitled "Exploring the consequences of polymer input in Caribbean Mangrove Soil Microbiomes", that is in collaboration with Professor Alexandre Rosado (KAUST).
Prof. Avella finished his Ph.D. at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands), working on microbial degradation of plant polymers and the development of lignocellulolytic microbial consortia. Currently, he is an associate professor at Universidad de Los Andes (Bogota, Colombia) and the head of the Microbiomes and Bioenergy Research Group. His main research areas are the microbial transformation of polymers, characterization of microbiome, and eco-enzymology. Prof. Avella's Google Scholar profile can be found here.