Sarahi L. Garcia

Professor at Oldenburg University, Germany

SciLifeLab Fellow, Stockholm University, Sweden
Ph.D. Microbiology, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, Germany
M.S. Bioengineering, University of Georgia, USA
B.S. Biochemical engineer, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Mexico

My research quest

Bacteria are very diverse living organisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye. They have been living on Earth for billions of years and have influenced the atmosphere and the biosphere ever since. There are more bacteria on Earth than there are stars in the known Universe. Despite bacteria being so numerically abundant and so influential to life, we still haven’t managed to fully understand them. I have made it my scientific mission to uncover the mysteries of aquatic microbial life.

In one teaspoon of sea or lake water, we can already find at least half a million bacteria. Despite being so many, their size is so small, that it is likely that some of them find themselves at least 100 body lengths apart from each other. This tiny bacteria, so far from each other, rely on the interaction to one another for sustenance, and together they also move the engines of elemental cycling on Earth.

Bacterial interactions and also their interactions to other microorganisms are the main interest of my research. I believe we still have a lot to learn from bacteria, including how to improve team work, how to appreciate diversity and how to make a circular economy.

About me

I am born and raised in Mexico. However, I have spent most of my life moving from one place to another.

My start as a scientist was not straight forward. I remember being a child and learning about brain drain. That is the first time that it ever occurred to me I would maybe want to be a scientist. However, as life has it, I tried to become a Christian missionary first. Then, at the age of 20, some big events in my personal life moved me to loose my faith and left me searching for purpose. At the same time I had some serendipitous path crossing with scientist and mentors that encouraged me to invest time and energy into science. Thanks to their mentorship, I started my journey in science.

In this journey, I have learned so much about life and about myself. Often, it has been very painful, but mostly it has been a journey of growth that has lead to innumerable positive interactions. I have met so many inspiring people that enhance my passion to live a life that supports others. As I learn more about life, I want to be able to teach, support and mentor.

I am committed to making science more inclusive. I will support mentees and colleagues to reach their own goals.

Finally, apart from scientist, I am also a mom, queer, first-generation higher education and a proponent for mental health, inclusion, and sustainability.

Get in touch

I am interested in collaborations and talks worldwide. If you want to chat about science, mental health, or anything I have mentioned above, don’t hesitate in reaching out.