Geomicrobiology of the built environment

Geoffrey Michael Gadd (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)
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Microbial colonization and growth can have significant effects in the built environment, resulting in a range of effects from discolouration and staining to biodeterioration and decay. In some cases, formation of biofilms, crusts and patinas may confer bioprotection of the substrate. This perspective aims to discuss how geomicrobial transformations in the natural environment - particularly involving rocks, minerals, metals and organic matter - may be applied to understand similar processes occurring on fabricated human structures. However, the built environment may offer further strictures as well as benefits for microbial activity and these should be taken into consideration when considering analogy with natural processes, especially when linking observations of microbial biodiversity to the more obvious manifestations of microbial attack.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16275
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalNature Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2017


  • Journal article


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