Polymenakou Paraskevi

by / Friday, 14 November 2014 / Published in people

Position: Researcher

Contact Info

Institute: Marine Biology and Genetics
Address: HCMR, Gournes Pediados, P.O.Box 2214, Gr71003 Heraklion Crete GREECE
Tel: +302810337855


Dr. Paraskevi Polymenakou is a Researcher of Environmental and Molecular Microbiology at the Institute of Marine Biology and Genetics, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece.

Dr. Polymenakou graduated from University of Crete (UoC) in 1998 with a degree in Biology, completed her MSc in Environmental Science and Engineering in 2000 and her PhD in Environmental Organic Chemistry and Marine Microbiology at UoC in collaboration with the Uppsala University, Sweden in 2005.

Since 2001, Dr. Polymenakou is exploring the microbial diversity and functioning of various environments including deep-sea basins, soil and the atmosphere using state of the art molecular tools (e.g. pyrosequencing). Her work focuses mainly on determining the environmental factors that control microbial community composition in highly diverse deep-sea ecosystems and extreme environments and assessing their biotechnological potential. She has been involved as a Collaborator or Principal Investigator (www.isosoil.eu; EU-FP7-212781) in several EC research projects (e.g. isoSoil, Hermione, Biodeep, Hermes) and oceanographic cruises carrying out extensive analyses of the microbial diversity in various environments in the Mediterranean. She has been involved in the Sorcerer II Global Ocean Sampling Expedition (Craig Venter Institute) (http://blogs.jcvi.org/2010/10/second-leg-of-greek-sampling/) as the Greek Observer for the Aegean Sea sampling assigned from the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Since 2009, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Mikrobiokosmos Society (www.mikrobiokosmos.org).

In the period 2007-2009, she was teaching “Environmental Microbiology” at a Master of Sciences students program at the Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, Greece.

Dr. Polymenakou has 18 publications in high peer-reviewed international journals including Nature, PNAS, Plos One, Environmental Health Perspectives and 19 Conference Presentations.

Education Profile
• Ph.D., Environmental Organic Chemistry and Marine Microbiology, University of Crete, Department of Chemistry, Greece, 2005
• M.Sc., Environmental Science and Engineering, University of Crete, Department of Chemistry, Greece, 2000
• B.Sc., Biology, University of Crete, Greece, 1998

Professional Profile
• 2007–to date: Research Scientist, Institute of Marine Biology and Genetics, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece
• 2003–2007: Research Scientist, Institute of Oceanography, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece
• 2003: Research visitor, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Sweden
• 2001-2003: Research Assistant, Institute of Marine Biology of Crete, Greece
• 2000–2001: Research Assistant, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, FORTH, Crete, Greece
• 1999–2000: Research Assistant, Environmental Chemical Processes Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, Greece
• 1997–1998: Research Assistant, Laboratory of Biotechnology and Applied Biology, Department of Biology, University of Crete, Greece

Scientific and Professional Memberships
• 2011-2012: Hellenic National Initiative of Mikrobiokosmos: Member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Mikrobiokosmos Society (Chairman: Prof. Zacharias Scouras)
• 2009-2010: Hellenic National Initiative of Mikrobiokosmos: Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Mikrobiokosmos Society (Chairman: Dr. Nikos Kyrpides)
• Member of the Organizing and Scientific Committees of the 1st National Conference of “Microbiokosmos: our unexplored national wealth” that was held in 12-14 December 2008 in Athens, Greece.
• Member of the Steering Committee of the European Research Project isoSoil (EU-FP7-212781).

Research Interests
• Mikrobiokosmos (www.mikrobiokosmos.org)
• Microbial diversity and ecosystem functioning
• Molecular microbial ecology
• Life in Extreme Environments – Marine Biotechnology
• Deep-sea Technologies
• Biodegradation of organic pollutants
• Aerobiology: climate change and health

1. Gontikaki, E.*, Polymenakou, P.N., Thornton, B., Narayanaswamy, B.E., Black, K., Tselepides, A., Witte, U. 2011. Microbial community structure and response to organic matter enrichment in the oligotrophic Levantine Basin (Eastern Mediterranean). In press, Geomicrobiology Journal
2. Mandalakis, M., Apostolaki, M., Tziaras, T., Polymenakou, P., Stephanou, E.G. 2011. Free and combined amino acids in marine background atmospheric aerosols over the Eastern Mediterranean. Atmospheric Environment, 45:1003e1009.
3. Kouridaki, I., Polymenakou, P.N.*, Tselepides, A., Mandalakis, M., Smith, K. 2010. Phylogenetic diversity of sediment bacteria from the deep Northeastern Pacific Ocean: a comparison to the deep Eastern Mediterranean Sea. International Microbiology, 13:143-150.
4. Danovaro, R.*, Company, J.B., Corinaldesi, C., D/Onghia, G., Galil, B., Gambi, C., Gooday, A.J., Lampadariou, N., Luna, G.-M., Morigi, C., Olu. K., Polymenakou, P., Ramierz-Llodra, E., Sabbatini, A., Sarda, F., Sibuet, M., Tselepides, A. 2010. Deep-sea biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea: the known, the unknown and the unknowable. Plos One, 5: e11832.
5. Borin, S., Brusetti, L., Mapelli, F., D’Auria, G., Brusa, T., Marzorati, M., Rizzi, A. Yakimov, M., Marty, D., DeLange, G., Van der Wielen, P., Bolhuis, H., McGenity, T., Polymenakou, P.N., Malinverno, E., Giuliano, L., Corselli, C., Daffonchio, D.* 2009. Sulfur cycling and methanogenesis primarily drive microbial colonization of the highly sulfidic Urania deep hypersaline basin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, 106: 9151-9156.
6. Polymenakou, P.N.*, Lampadariou, N., Mandalakis, M., Tselepides, A. 2009. Phylogenetic diversity of sediment bacteria from the southern Cretan margin, Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Systematic and Applied Microbiology, 32: 17-26.
7. Polymenakou, P.N.*, Lampadariou, N., Tselepides, A. 2008. Exo-enzymatic activities and organic matter properties in deep-sea canyon and slope systems off the southern Cretan margin. Deep-Sea Research Part I, 55: 1318-1329.
8. Polymenakou, P.N.*, Mandalakis, M., Tselepides, A., Stephanou, E.G. 2008. Particle size distribution of airborne microorganisms and pathogens during an intense African dust event in the Eastern Mediterranean. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116: 292-296. (In Science Selection to 2008 March issue of EHP)
9. Polymenakou, P.N.*, Fragkioudaki, G., Tselepides, A. 2007. Bacterial and organic matter distribution in the sediments of the Thracian Sea (NE Aegean). Continental Shelf Research, 27: 2187-2197.
10. Polymenakou, P.N.*, Stephanou, E.G., Tselepides, A., Bertilsson, S. 2007. Organic matter preservation and microbial community accumulations in deep-hypersaline anoxic basins. Geomicrobiology Journal, 24: 19-29.
11. Polymenakou, P.N.*, Stephanou, E.G., Tselepides, A., Bertilsson, S. 2006. Carbon speciation and composition of natural microbial communities in polluted and pristine sediments of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 52: 1396-1405.
12. Daffonchio, D.*, Borin, S., Brusa, T., Brusetti, L., van der Wielen, P.W., Bolhuis, H., Yakimov, M.M., D’Auria, G., Giuliano, L., Marty, D., Tamburini, C., McGenity, T.J., Hallsworth, J.E., Sass, A.M., Timmis, K.N., Tselepides, A., de Lange, G.J., Hubner, A., Thomson, J., Varnavas, S.P., Gasparoni, F., Gerber, H.W., Malinverno, E., Corselli, C., & Biodeep Scientific Party: Garcin, J., McKew, B., Golyshin, P.N., Lampadariou, N., Polymenakou, P., Calore, D., Cenedese, S., Zanon, F., Hoog, S. 2006. Stratified prokaryote network in the oxic-anoxic transition of a deep-sea halocline. Nature, 440: 203-207.
13. Polymenakou, P.N., Stephanou, E.G.* 2005. Effect of temperature and additional carbon sources on phenol degradation by an indigenous soil Pseudomonad. Biodegradation, 16: 403-413.
14. Polymenakou, P.N.*, Bertilsson, S., Tselepides, A., Stephanou, E.G. 2005. Links between geographic location, environmental factors and microbial community composition in sediments of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Microbial Ecology, 49: 367-378.
15. Polymenakou, P.N., Tselepides, A., Stephanou, E.G.* 2005. Study of the mineralization effect on the distribution of lipids in sediments from the Cretan Sea: Evidence for hydrocarbon degradation and starvation stress. Continental Shelf Research, 25: 2196-2212.
16. Pusceddu, A.*, Fiordelmondo, C., Polymenakou, P., Polychronaki, T., Tselepides, A., Danovaro, R. 2005. Effects of bottom trawling on quantity and biochemical composition of organic matter in coastal marine sediments (Thermaikos Gulf, Aegean Sea, Greece). Continental Shelf Research, 25: 2491-2505.
17. Polymenakou, P.N., Pusceddu, A., Tselepides, A.*, Polychronaki, T., Giannakourou, A., Fiordelmondo, C., Hatziyanni, E., Danovaro, R. 2005. Benthic microbial abundance and activities in an intensively trawled ecosystem (Thermaikos Gulf, Aegean Sea). Continental Shelf Research, 25: 2570-2584.
18. Polymenakou, P.N., Bertilsson, S.*, Tselepides, A., Stephanou, E.G. 2005. Bacterial community composition in sediments from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: a comparison of four 16S rDNA clone libraries. Microbial Ecology, 50: 447-462.

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