Maria L. Marco

Maria L. Marco

Maria L. Marco, Ph.D.

Position Title
Professor; Chair of the Food Science Graduate Group

Food Science and Technology

3200 Robert Mondavi Institute - South

Food Science (2009 - )


Ph.D. Microbial Biology. University of California, Berkeley, CA

B.S. Microbiology with Honors and Distinction. Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA


Professor Marco investigates microorganisms in foods and intestinal ecosystems. Her research emphasizes lactic acid bacteria and the contributions of these bacteria to the production of fermented foods and beverages and to human health and well-being. Dr. Marco and her team use approaches in systems biology, genetics, and ecology to study the shared and unique properties of individual strains as well as the functional capacities of food and gut microbiomes.

Extension of Knowledge Activities

FST104 – Food Microbiology

FST204 – Advanced Food Microbiology


Awards and Honors

1993: The Pennsylvania State University - National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates

1995: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Bethesda, Maryland - Pre-Intramural research training award (Pre-IRTA)

1995: The National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental Research, Bethesda, Maryland - Intramural research training award (IRTA)

1996: The University of California, Berkeley - Virginia McCrossin Virginia McCrossin Fellowship

1999: Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Presentation prize. The 9th International Conference of Congress of Molecular Plant -Microbe Interactions

2008: Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands - Presentation prize. Poster Award. 9th Symposium on Lactic Acid Bacteria

2012: American Society for Microbiology - Distinguished Lecturer

2013: American Society for Microbiology - Distinguished Lecturer

2014: American Society for Microbiology - Distinguished Lecturer

2023: Gordon Research Conferences - Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Lactic acid bacteria biology, symbioses, and applications