Silvia Cretoiu, PhD

Postdoctoral Scientist
Phone: +1 (207) 315-2567, ext. 409
Fax: +1 (207) 315-2329

For media inquiries, please contact


B.Sc. Biology, University of Bucharest, Romania

M.Sc. Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Bucharest, Romania

Microbial Ecology, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece

Ph.D. Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Research Interests

I consider myself as a molecular microbial systems ecologist. My scientific interest is to understand how microbial and viral communities work, evolve, and exchange information to fulfill the ecosystem function and to act as, and sometimes resemble, a living entity. I used genomics and other ‘omics tools to investigate bacterial chitin degradation in various natural and synthetic habitats, to assess the microbiome and virome of microbial mats and extreme aquatic habitats, to elucidate the role of CRISPR-Cas in ecosystem’s resilience and diversification. The project I will be working on in Bigelow investigates the viral control of microbial communities in Antarctic lakes, which are among the oldest natural ecosystems. Even though my research interests are curiosity driven, I never ignored the potential applications of my scientific discoveries.

S Cretoiu Recent Publications


  • Naghoni A, Emtiazi G, Amoozegar MA, Cretoiu MS, Stal LJ, Etemadifar Z, Fazeli SAS and Bolhuis H. Microbial diversity in the hypersaline Lake Meyghan, Iran. Nature Scientific Reports 7: 11522, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-11585-3
  • Cardoso DC, Sandionigi A, Cretoiu MS, Casiraghi M, Stal LJ and Bolhuis H. Comparison of the active and resident community of a coastal microbial mat. Nature Scientific Reports 7: 2969, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-03095-z
  • Guimares P, Yunes JS, Cretoiu MS and Stal LJ. Growth characteristics of an estuarine heterocystous cyanobacterium. Frontiers in Microbiology, in press, DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01132
  • Cretoiu MS, Berini F, Kielak AM, Marinelli F and van Elsas JD. A novel salt-tolerant chitobiosidase discovered by genetic screening of a metagenomic library derived from chitin-amended agricultural soil. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 99: 8199-8215
  • Bolhuis H, Cretoiu MS and Stal LJ. Molecular ecology of microbial mats. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 90: 335-350
  • Cretoiu MS, Korthals G, Visser J and van Elsas JD. Chitin amendment raises the suppressiveness of soil towards plant pathogens and modulates the actinobacterial and oxalobacteraceal communities in an experimental agricultural field. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79: 5291-5301
  • Ekkers DM, Cretoiu MS, Kielak AM and van Elsas JD. The great screen anomaly – a new frontier in product discovery through functional metagenomics. Applied Microbiology Biotechnology 93: 1005 -1020
  • Bolhuis H and Cretoiu MS. What is so special about marine microorganisms? In: Stal LJ, Cretoiu MS (Eds) The Marine Microbiome - An Untold Resource of Biodiversity and Biotechnological Potential. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, pp 3-20
  • van Elsas JD, Cretoiu MS, Kielak AM and Dini-Andreote F. Soil metagenomics - potential applications and methodological problems. In: Nannipieri P. (Ed), Omics in Soil Science. Horizon Scientific-Caister Academic Press, Norfolk, pp 31-44