The purpose of Matís’ microbiology research is to promote food safety and to explore the roles and functions of microbes in the environment. Our researchers have a long experience of investigating microbial diversity in food and the environment using molecular and culture methods.

Our research objectives focus on microbial biodiversity and function in extreme and non-extreme environments for environmental research, biotechnology and food safety (“from environment to fork”). Using various molecular and cultivation techniques the group investigates pathogen traceability, probiotics, community description, function and strain isolation in microbes from food and environments such as deep sea and coastal hydrothermal vents, terrestrial and subterranean vents and sub glacial lakes.

Viggó Þór Marteinsson
Faglegur leiðtogi

The microbes of these environments provide a source of novel genes, discovered by direct DNA isolation and in silico screening. Some of these environments have also been used as Martian analogues to better understand the limits of life and the habitability of extraterrestrial environments.

The main research highlights:

  • Method development and application to detect and control pathogens and food spoilage bacteria
  • Investigating foodbourne illness outbreaks through origin and traceability of food pathogens
  • Icelandic marine microbial diversity and metagenomics and their role in biological sustainability in a shifting climate
  • Study and exploitation of the microbes of extreme (hot, cold and deep environments) and non-extreme environments for ecological research and biotechnological application
  • Sustain and expand the microbial strain and bio-sample collection ISCAR. To catalogue biodiversity and metadata for epidemic research and biotechnological applications

The group is in collaboration with many national and international research groups and has participated in numbers of research projects, oceanic cruises and field trips.