Dr. Benito Gómez-Silva
Associate researcher

Benito Gómez-Silva, Ph.D., is a Chilean Biochemist with undergraduate studies at Universidad de Chile and a Ph.D. degree from Brandeis University, USA. He is Associate Professor at University of Antofagasta since 1987 and was also Director of INDES (Institute for Desert Studies) for several years. Today, he is part of the Biochemistry Group, Biomedical Dept. and his research is focused on the Microbiology of the Atacama Desert. The following five publications provide a summary of his contribution to what we know today on microbial life in one of the driest, oldest and extreme deserts of our planet: (1) Mars-like soils in the Atacama Desert, Chile, and the dry limit of microbial life. Science 302: 1018-1021, 2003. (2) Atacama Desert Soil Microbiology. In: Microbiology of Extreme Soils. Soil Biology Series Vol. 13, Chapter 6, pp 117-132. 2008. P Dion CS Nautiyal (Eds) Springer-Verlag. (3) On the Limits Imposed to Life by the Hyperarid Atacama Desert in Northern Chile. In: Astrobiology: Emergence, Search and Detection of Life. Chapter 9, pp. 199-213. 2010. VA Basiuk (Ed). ASP, USA. (4) The Atacama Desert: Technical Resources and the Growing Importance of Novel Microbial Diversity. Annual Review of Microbiology, Vol. 70, 215-234, 2016. (5) Lithobiontic life: Atacama rocks are well and alive. 2018. Antoine van Leeuwenhoek. DOI 10.1007/s10482-018-1033-9.
Research lines
Microbiology of drylands: Atacama Desert microflora.
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