Dr Maria Salta obtained her BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology with Oceanography, at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), University of Southampton, UK (2004-2007). In 2008, she secured a Research Studentship Award from the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment towards the completion of her Masters of Research (MRes) in Ocean Sciences (NOC, University of Southampton, UK). In 2012, Dr Salta joined the Faculty of Engineering Sciences and The Environment from where she was awarded her PhD on the discovery of novel natural products and biomimetics against marine biofilms (University of Southampton, UK).
The multidisciplinary nature of Dr Salta’s academic career so far, has led her to build collaborations with a number of UK and EU companies and research institutions in Germany, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands, USA, Singapore and China. She has strong links with key industries. Dr Salta has extensive experience in EU related projects as she has worked over several years for EU related institutions (EDA, and FP7 funded projects).
Maria’s research expertise and interests lie mainly in the field of microbiology with a focus in biofilms and the marine environment. Specifically:
- Microbial biofilm diversity and gene functionality though in-situ field and laboratory sampling and use of next-generation sequencing approaches.
- Biofouling processes and antifouling technologies through the use of biomimetics and bio-inspired approaches that mimic natural systems with the aim to investigate and replicate their properties (chemistry and topography).
- Bacterial and phytoplankton eco-physiology in extreme environments – polar and deep sea.
- Bio-microfluidics approaches through the design and fabrication of both micro (lab-on-a-chip) and macro systems for in-situ bacterial and biofilm observations (attachment, formation and growth, signalling, adhesion strength, drug reduction).
- Biofilm-surface interactions through method development for the assessment of bacterial and diatom attachment, biofilm growth, and DLVO.