Howard Junca, PhD



Address: CL 19 5A 64 CS 46

250001, Chía, Colombia

Phone: +57C3A002335295 

 *Email: info [at)

Howard Armando Junca Díaz

Author citations as: "H. Junca, Howard Junca"

Publications & citations at Google Scholar   Profile at ResearchGate


        »  Affiliations:

¬ 2016-present :-) Founder and Director of Microbiomas Research Foundation (Fundación de Investigación -Microbiomas-) *

+ Head of RG Microbial Ecology: Metabolism, Genomics & Evolution | Div. Ecogenomics & Holobionts

¬ 2015-2018 Senior Scientist ("Investigador Senior") *Colombian National Department for Science, Technology and Innovation  - Colciencias 2015  
¬ Full Professor (2012-2015)  ("Profesor Titular")° Biochemistry & Applied Microbiology | MU Nueva Granada - UMNG (Universidad Militar Nueva Granada - UMNG), °Colombian Ministry of Education.  UMNG logo 
¬ President (2012-2014) and Current Vicepresident (2014-2016) of the Latin American Association for Microbiology (Asociación Latinoamericana de Microbiología - ALAM)
¬ President 2010- of the Colombian Society for Microbiology |  
¬ Associate Researcher 2008-2014 of the National Research Network of Genomics and Bioinformatics of Extreme Environments - GeBiX and Research Scientist and Head of Research Group at CorpoGen 2009-2015
¬  Member of the Colombian Barcode of Life Initiative  

                * http://bi
Research projects, roles and institutions (2010-2015)

Colombian coordinator in the binational researchers exchange project 2015-2017: Ecos Nord (France) and Colciencias, Colombia (IMBE, Marseille; Université Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Bogotá & CorpoGen)

  Coinvestigator of national project (Colciencias) 2014-2016: Genomic, microbiome and climatic study of the pathogenic nature of diseased Rachycentron canadum (Cobia) cultures at the Caribbean Sea (CorpoGen & Ceniacua)

  Principal Investigator (PI) of national project (Fundación para la Promoción de la Investigación y la Tecnología FPIT - Banco de la República, Colombia) 2012: Genome sequencing of a Bacillus strain pathogenic for shrimp aquaculture “Secuenciación y análisis del genoma del patógeno emergente Bacillus sp., cepa CENIACUA-CG01, responsable de brotes de mortalidades severas en produccciones de L. vannamei (camarón blanco)“(CorpoGen and Ceniacua)

  Principal Investigator (PI) of international-funded project (Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, IDRC- Canada) 2012: "First DNA barcoding sampling survey of processed meat and fish derived-products commercialized in Bogota, Colombia: assessing the reliability of the marketed identity in meat food products for human consumption, their potential origins and related risks for health, food security and ecosystem preservation in the country." (CorporGen and Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Bogotá)           

  Director of national project (Colciencias) 2010-2012: Metagenomic exploration of the microbial communities associated to marine sponges: searching for the ancient and natural origin of the potential to generate/degrade halogenated aromatics (CorpoGen)  

  Principal Investigator (PI) of national project (Colciencias) 2010-2013: Platform for exploring antimalarial compounds in metagenomes (CorpoGen; Universidad Nacional de Colombia - Sede Medellín and CRESIB, Catalunya, Spain).  

  Colombian partner on the collaborative research project with the Center for Biotechnology, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Project funded under the bilateral official agreement between Brasil (CNPq) and Colombia (Colciencias) 2010-2012 

  Colombian participant in the binational researchers exchange project 2010-2014: Ecos Nord (France) and Colciencias, Colombia (Université Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Medellín; CorpoGen)

  Partner of the European Commission research consortium project (FP7) 2010-2014:  MAGICPAH - Molecular Approaches and MetaGenomic Investigations for optimizing Clean-up of PAH contaminated sites (scientific network of 15 research institutes in 9 countries)  

  Participant in the national network project (Colombian Excellence Research Center GeBiX-Colciencias) 2008-2014: Establishing a metagenomic and bioinformatic platform for characterizing and using genetic resources of extreme environments (14 research labs in 7 national institutions)  

I         I        I       I      I     I    I   I  I II                                

» Key Experience  
          Environmental Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Phylogenetics
          Microbial Ecology, Metagenomics, Biotechnology of Microorganisms
          Biodegradation of Pollutants, Fungal Biotechnology, Bioremediation
Catabolic Pathways, Functional Diversity, Biocatalysis, Microarray Design, 
          Aromatics Biodegradation, Metabolic Gene Diversity, Microbial Physiology 
Curriculum vitæ
   Résumé (English)      












» Academic and Professional Experience



1992- 1997: Microbiologist, (Diploma) Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
1998-2004: M.Sc. Biology (Lic. Biologia, 2° Ciclo), Universidad Complutense de Madrid & Spanish Ministry of Science and Education, Madrid, Spain
1998-2001: Postgraduate Studies on Genetics, (Estudios 3er Ciclo, Suficiencia Investigadora) Doctoral Program on Genetics, Department of Genetics, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
2001-2004: Master in Environmental Impact Assessment,(MA in EIA) Institute for Ecological Research, INIEC, Málaga, Spain.

2001-2004. PhD Thesis: Junca H. 2004. Characterization of Genetic Potential, Catabolic Structure, and Degrading Activities of Microbial Communities from Oligotrophic Aquifers during Adaptation to Organic Contaminants" AMICO EC project (FP5). Doctoral Thesis, TU-Braunschweig.  Thesis awarded with Summa Cum Laude, Supervisor: PD Dr. Dietmar Pieper 


  ¬ Link:  

2004: Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, TU–Brunswick, Germany. „Doktor der Naturwissenschaften, Dr. rer. nat. mit Auszeichnung bestanden“Gemeinsame Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Technischen Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig.
2004-2006: Postdoctoral Research Scientist, AG Biodegradation, German Research Centre for Biotechnology (Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung)- GBF. Braunschweig, Germany. Biotool EC Project.

Postdoctoral Research Scientist. AG Biodegradation, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung (Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research - Helmholtz Society). HZI Braunschweig, Germany. Biotool EC Project


2008-present. Postdoctoral Research Scientist. Research Groups Molecular Biotechnology & Research Group Microbial Genetics, CorpoGen, Bogota DC, Colombia.


2008-present. Associate Researcher.  Center of Research Excellence Colombian Center of Genomics and Bioinformatics of Extreme Environments - GeBiX, Colombia.


2011-2012. Adjunct Professor. National University of Colombia (Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Bogotá)


2010-2015. Head of Research Group. RG Microbial Ecology: Metabolism, Genomics and Evolution | CorpoGen, Bogota DC, Colombia.


2012-2015. Full Professor ("Profesor Titular") Biochemistry & Applied Microbiology | Director of M.Sc. Programme MU Nueva Granada - UMNG (Universidad Militar Nueva Granada - UMNG) |, Cajica Campus, Bogota DC, Colombia.


2015-present: Founder and Director Microbiomas Research Foundation (Fundación de Investigación -Microbiomas-)


» Memberships and Awards


1998- Young Researcher fellowship. National Institute for Development of Science and Technology of Colombia, Colciencias

1998- Member of Colombian Association for Advancement of Science ACAC

2004- Doctoral Title awarded with Summa Cum Laude

2006- Member of the American Society for Microbiology - ASM

2006- Fellowship from FEMS.

2006- Member of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology – VAAM (Germany)

2006- Member of the Public Library of Science (PLoS)

2010- Founding Member and President 2010-2012 of the Colombian Society for Microbiology (ACM)

2010-2012 Third Vice-president of the Latin-American Association for Microbiology (ALAM)

2012-2014 President of the Latin-American Association for Microbiology (ALAM) and Organizer of the XXII Latin American Congress for Microbiology ALAM 2014



» Reviewer for international journals (>55 articles since 2003)


Environmental Microbiology (Blackwell Publishing)

Environmental Science & Technology (ACS Publications)

Trends in Biotechnology (Elsevier)

FEMS Microbiology Ecology (under Elsevier or Blackwell)

Journal of Applied Microbiology (Wiley)

Microbiology-SGM (Society of General Microbiology, UK)

Mycological Research (Cambridge Journals)

FEMS Microbiology Letters (under Elsevier or Blackwell)

Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Springer)

Bulletin of Marine and Coastal Research (Invemar)

Bioresource Technology (Elsevier)

Journal of Environmental Quality (ASA, CSSA, and SSSA)

European Journal of Soil Biology (Elsevier)


Publications in international peer-reviewed journals


Only articles indexed by ISI Thompson Scientific and Scopus Google Scholar


External repositories:     


Full list


Google profile: ResearchGate profile:  




  •  Microbial Toluene Removal in Hypoxic Model Constructed Wetlands Occurs Predominantly via the Ring Monooxygenation Pathway. Martínez-Lavanchy PM, Chen Z, Lünsmann V, Marin-Cevada V, Vilchez-Vargas R, Pieper DH, Reiche N, Kappelmeyer U, Imparato V, Junca H, Nijenhuis I, Müller JA, Kuschk P, Heipieper HJ. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015 Sep 15;81(18):6241-6252. Epub 2015 Jul 6. PMID:  26150458   [PMID] 


  •  Development of a genetic tool for functional screening of anti-malarial bioactive extracts in metagenomic libraries. Mongui A, Pérez-Llanos FJ, Yamamoto MM, Lozano M, Zambrano MM, Del Portillo P, Fernández-Becerra C, Restrepo S, Del Portillo HA, Junca H. Malar J. 2015 Jun 4;14:233. doi: 10.1186/s12936-015-0748-6. 5  [PMID] 


  •  Distinct composition signatures of archaeal and bacterial phylotypes in the Wanda Glacier forefield, Antarctic Peninsula. Pessi IS, Osorio-Forero C, Gálvez EJ, Simões FL, Simões JC, Junca H, Macedo AJ. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2015 Jan;91(1):1-10. doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiu005. Epub 2014 Dec 5. PMID:  25764530 5  [PMID] 


  •  AromaDeg, a novel database for phylogenomics of aerobic bacterial degradation of aromatics. Duarte M, Jauregui R, Vilchez-Vargas R, Junca H, Pieper DH. Database (Oxford). 2014 Dec 1; 2014. pii: bau118. doi: 10.1093/database/bau118. Print 2014. PMID: 25468931 Free Open Access [PMID]  


  •  Neotropical Andes hot springs harbor diverse and distinct planktonic microbial communities. Delgado-Serrano L, López G, Bohorquez LC, Bustos JR, Rubiano C, Osorio-Forero C, Junca H, Baena S, Zambrano MM. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 2014 Jul;89(1):56-66. doi: 10.1111/1574-6941.12333. Epub 2014 Apr 29. PMID: 24689975 [PMID]  


  •  Editorial overview: environmental biotechnology. Harms H, Junca H. Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 2014 Jun;27:vii-ix. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2014.04.002. Epub 2014 Apr 26. PMID: 24780846  [PMID] 


   •  Genome analysis and physiological comparison of Alicycliphilus denitrificans strains BC and K601(T.) Oosterkamp MJ, Veuskens T, Talarico Saia F, Weelink SA, Goodwin LA, Daligault HE, Bruce DC, Detter JC, Tapia R, Han CS, Land ML, Hauser LJ, Langenhoff AA, Gerritse J, van Berkel WJ, Pieper DH, Junca H, Smidt H, Schraa G, Davids M, Schaap PJ, Plugge CM, Stams AJ. PLoS One. 2013 Jun 25;8(6):e66971. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066971. PMID: 23825601  [PMID] 


   •  Analysis of the microbial gene landscape and transcriptome for aromatic pollutants and alkane degradation using a novel internally calibrated microarray system. Vilchez-Vargas R, Geffers R, Suárez-Diez M, Conte I, Waliczek A, Kaser VS, Kralova M, Junca H, Pieper DH. Environmental Microbiology. 2013 Apr;15(4):1016-39. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2012.02752.x. Epub 2012 Apr 20. PMID: 22515215 [PMID]


    •  In-depth characterization via complementing culture-independent approaches of the microbial community in an acidic hot spring of the Colombian Andes. Bohorquez LC, Delgado-Serrano L, López G, Osorio-Forero C, Klepac-Ceraj V, Kolter R, Junca H, Baena S, Zambrano MM. Microbial Ecology. 2012 Jan;63(1):103-15. doi: 10.1007/s00248-011-9943-3. Epub 2011 Sep 27. PMID: 21947461 [PMID]  


   •  Structural and functional insights from the metagenome of an acidic hot spring microbial planktonic community in the Colombian Andes. Jiménez DJ, Andreote FD, Chaves D, Montaña JS, Osorio-Forero C, Junca H, Zambrano MM, Baena S. PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e52069. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052069 Free article Online Open [PMID] 


   •  Gulosibacter molinativorax ON4T molinate hydrolase, a novel cobalt-dependent amidohydrolase. Duarte M, Ferreira-da-Silva F, Lünsdorf H, Junca H, Gales L, Pieper DH, Nunes OC. Journal of Bacteriology. 2011 Oct;193(20):5810-6. doi: 10.1128/JB.05054-11. PMID: 21840982 Free article Online Open [PMID] 


   •  Evaluating a nested-PCR assay for detecting Streptococcus agalactiae in red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) tissue. Jimenez A, Tibata V, Junca H, Ariza F, Verjan N, Iregui C. 2011. Aquaculture. 320(3):341-346.  [ScienceDirect]


   •  Genome sequences of Alicycliphilus denitrificans strain BC and K601T Oosterkamp MJ, Veuskens T, Plugge CM, Langenhoff AA, Gerritse J, van Berkel WJ, Pieper DH, Junca H, Goodwin LA, Daligault HE, Bruce DC, Detter JC, Tapia R, Han CS, Land ML, Hauser LJ, Smidt H, Stams AJ. 2011. Journal of Bacteriology. 193(18):5028-5029. Free article Online Open [PMID] 


   •  Metabolic networks, microbial ecology and 'omics' technologies: towards understanding in situ biodegradation processes. Vilchez-Vargas R, Junca H, Pieper DH. 2010. Environmental Microbiology. 12(12):3089-3104. Free article Online Open [html] |  [pdf]  


  •  Mangrove microniches determine the structural and functional diversity of enriched petroleum hydrocarbon-degrading consortia. Gomes NC, Flocco CG, Costa R, Junca H, Vilchez R, Pieper DH, Krögerrecklenfort E, Paranhos R, Mendonça-Hagler LC, Smalla K. 2010. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 74(2):276-290  [pdf] |  [SOM] 


  •  Metagenomics reveals diversity and abundance of meta- cleavage pathways in microbial communities from soil highly contaminated with jet fuel under air sparging bioremediation. Brennerova M, Josefiova J, Brenner V, Pieper DH, Junca H. 2009. Environmental Microbiology. 11(9):2216-2227. Free article Online Open [html] | [pdf] 


   •  Characterization of a gene cluster involved in 4- chlorocatechol degradation by Pseudomonas reinekei MT1Cámara B, Nikodem P, Bielecki P, Bobadilla R, Junca H, Pieper DH. 2009. Journal of Bacteriology. 191(15):4905-4915.  [html] | [pdf] 


   •  Growth of Pseudomonas chloritidismutans AW-1T on n-alkanes with chlorate as electron acceptor. Mehboob F, Junca H, Schraa G, Stams AJM. 2009. Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology. 82(3):565-577. Free article Open Access [html] | [pdf] 


   •  Enhancement of the    microbial community biomass and diversity during air sparging bioremediation of a soil highly contaminated with kerosene and BTEX. Kabelitz N, Machackova J, Imfeld G, Brennerova M, Pieper DH, Heipieper HJ, Junca H. 2009. Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology. 82(3):565-577. Free article Open Access [html] | [pdf]


   •  Isolation and characterization of Alicycliphilus denitrificans strain BC that grows on benzene with chlorate as electron acceptor. Weelink SAB, Tan NCG, ten Broeke H, van den Kieboom C, van Doesburg W, Langenhoff AAM, Gerritse J, Junca H, Stams AJM. 2008. Applied & Environmental Microbiology. 74(21):6672-6681. Free article Open Access [html] | [pdf]  


   •  trans-Dienelactone hydrolase from Pseudomonas reinekei MT1, a novel zinc-dependent hydrolase. Cámara B, Marin M, Schlömann M, Hecht H-J, Junca H, Pieper DH. 2008. Biochemical & Biophysical Research Communications. 376(2):423-428. | [pdf]  


   •  Two angular dioxygenases contribute to the metabolic versatility of the dibenzofuran degrading Rhodococcus sp. strain HA01. Aly HA, Huu NB, Wray V, Junca H, Pieper DH. 2008. Applied & Environmental Microbiology. 74(12):3812-3822. [html] | [pdf] 


   •  Melanoidin-containing wastewaters induce selective laccase gene expression in the white-rot fungus Trametes sp. I-62. González T, Terrón MC, Yagüe S, Junca H, Carbajo JM, Zapico E, Silva R, Arana-Cuenca A, Tellez A, González AE. 2008. Research in Microbiology. 159(2):103-119. | [pdf] 


   •  Molecular detection and diversity of novel diterpenoid dioxygenase ditA1 genes from proteobacterial strains and soil samples. Witzig R, Aly HAH, Strömpl C, Wray V, Junca H and Pieper DH. 2007. Environmental Microbiology. 9 (5): 1202-1218. | [pdf]  


   •  Eight Americas: a new definition for "Americas"? Junca H. 2007. (Correspondence) PLoS Medicine. Jan;4(1):e42.  [html] | [pdf]  


   •  Toluene/biphenyl dioxygenase gene diversity assessed by culture dependent and culture independent approaches in benzene polluted soils: links between benzene biodegradation and isopropylbenzene dioxygenase-like genes.Witzig R, Junca H, Hecht HJ and Pieper DH. 2006. Applied & Environmental Microbiology. 72(5), 3504-3514. [html] | [pdf] 


   •  Alternative primer sets for PCR detection of genotypes involved in bacterial aerobic BTEX degradation: Distribution of the genes in BTEX degrading isolates and in subsurface soils of a BTEX contaminated industrial site. Hendrickx B, Junca H, Vosahlova J, Lindner A, Rüegg I, Bucheli-Witschel M, Faber F, Egli T, Mau M, Schlömann M, Brennerova M, Brenner V, Pieper DH, Top EM, Dejonghe W, Bastiaens L, and Springael D. 2005. Journal of Microbiological Methods. 64 (2), 250-265. | [pdf] 


   •  Difference in kinetic behavior of catechol 2,3-dioxygenase variants from a polluted environment. Junca H, Plumeier I, Hecht HJ, and Pieper DH. 2004. Microbiology-UK. 150 (12), 4181-4187. | [pdf] 


   •  Tannic acid interferes with the commonly used laccase-detection assay based on ABTS as the substrate. Terrón MC, López-Fernández M, Carbajo JM, Junca H, Téllez A, Yagüe S, Arana-Cuenca A, González T, and González AE. 2004. Biochimie. 86 (8), 519-522. | [pdf] 


   •  Identification and characterization of the alpha-L-arabinofuranosidase B of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. dianthi. Chacón-Martínez CA, Anzola JM, Rojas A, Hernández JF, Junca H, Ocampo W, and Del Portillo P. 2004. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, 64(4) 201-208  | [pdf] 


   •  Functional gene diversity analysis in BTEX contaminated soils by means of PCR-SSCP DNA fingerprinting: comparative diversity assessment against bacterial isolates and PCR-DNA clone libraries. Junca H and Pieper DH. 2004. Environmental Microbiology. 6 (2), 95-110 | [pdf] 


   •  Amplified functional DNA restriction analysis to determine catechol 2,3 dioxygenase gene diversity in soil bacteria. Junca H and Pieper DH. 2003. Journal of Microbiological Methods. 65, 697-708  | [pdf]


   •  Identification of a new laccase gene and confirmation of genomic predictions by cDNA sequences of Trametes sp. I-62 laccase family. Gonzalez T, Terron MC, Zapico E, Yague S, Tellez A, Junca H, and Gonzalez AE, 2003. Mycological Research. 107, 727-735  [pdf]


   •  Tannic acid induces transcription of laccase gene cglcc1 in the white-rot fungus Coriolopsis gallica. Carbajo JM, Junca H, Terron MC, Gonzalez T, Yague S, Zapico E, and Gonzalez AE. 2002. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 48, 1041-1047    | [pdf]






Book chapters

  Pérez-Pantoja D, Donoso R, Junca H, González B and Pieper DH. 2010. Phylogenomics of aerobic bacterial degradation of aromatics. In Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology. Editor-in-chief: Ken Timmis. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 978-3-540-77588-1

  Junca H, Pieper DH. 2010. Functional marker gene assays for hydrocarbon degrading microbial communities - aerobic, In Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology. Editor-in-chief: Ken Timmis. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 978-3-540-77588-1

  Mehboob F, Saia F, Weelink S, Tan N, Junca H, Stams AJM and Schraa G. 2010. Microbial degradation of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons with (per)chlorate as electron acceptor. In Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology. Editor-in-chief: Ken Timmis. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 978-3-540-77588-1

  Cubillos-Ruiz A, Junca H, Baena S, Venegas I, Zambrano MM. 2009. Beyond Metagenomics: Integration of complementary approaches for the study of microbial communities. In Metagenomics: Theory, Methods and Applications - Editor: Diana Marcos. Horizon Scientific Press. ISBN:  978-1-904455-54-7

  El Fantroussi S, Agathos SN, Pieper DH, Witzig R, Cámara B, Gabriel-Jürgens L, Junca H, Zanaroli G, Fava F, Perez-Jimenez JR, Young LY, Hamonts K, Lookman R, Maesen M, Diels L, Dejonghe W, Dijk J & Springael D. 2006. Chapter IV. Biological Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments. In: Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments; Springer Verlag, pp 179-241. NATO Science Series: IV: Earth and Environmental Sciences #73: Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments. ISBN: 978-1-4020-4958-3. Editors: Reible D and Lanczos T, Bratislava.

  Junca H, Witzig R, Pieper DH. 2005. In situ detection of functional genes for aerobic aromatic degradation. In Tagunsghandbuch: Workshop Perspektiven molekularer und isotopischer Methoden zum Nachweis des natürlichen Schadstoffabbaus in Böden, BMBF-Förderschwerpunktes KORA und des DECHEMA-IAK "Umweltbiotechnologie Boden“ ISBN 3-89746-069-6. Frankfurt Main.

  Junca H, and Pieper DH. 2005. Chapter 12: Diagnosing the biodegradation potential of soils. In: Lens P, Grotenhuis T, Malina G, Tabak H (eds). Soil and Sediment Remediation. IWA Publishing. ISBN 1843391007. London.

Presentations at conferences

Junca H. Presentación de la Sociedad Colombiana de Microbiología - ACM (Introducing the Colombian Society for Microbiology ACM). Presentation at XX Congreso de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Microbiología ALAM2010 (XX Congress of the Latin-American Association for Microbiology ALAM) September 27-30 2010, Montevideo, Uruguay

Junca H. Estatus del poder predictor de la evolución catabólica en comunidades microbianas bajo selectores fuertes aplicando tecnologías ómicas. Invited Speaker, Environmental Microbiology Session at XX Congreso Latinoamericano de Microbiología ALAM2010 (XX Congress of the Latin-American Association for Microbiology ALAM) September 27-30 2010, Montevideo, Uruguay

Junca H. Applications of gene fingerprinting, microarrays and metagenomics to study the ecology of microbial biodegradation in monoaromatic contaminated soils under bioremediation treatments. Seminars of the Centre for Biotechnology, UFRGS. July 29, 2010, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Junca H. Evolución catabólica microbiana bajo selectores fuertes: conclusiones de perfiles genéticos, microarreglos catabolómicos y metagenómica funcional para descifrar los mecanismos de las comunidades microbianas actuando en tratamientos de biorremediación a gran escala para la descontaminación de aromáticos. En: Seminarios de Investigación del Instituto de Genética de la Universidad Nacional. 7 de Mayo de 2010. Bogotá D.C. Colombia.

Junca H. Metagenómica y otras ómicas. En: Seminario “Estado de la Metagenómica en Colombia" CENBIOTEP Centro de Biología Molecular y Biotecnología Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira. 20 de Noviembre de 2009, Pereira, Colombia.

Junca H. Establishing a biotechnological exploration platform by metagenomic and bioinformatic studies of tropical Andean diversity: The developing case of GeBiX project consortium in Colombia. Invited speaker at Symposium VII, NGS, a Revolution in the Life Sciences, Darwin 200 South American Celebration, September 1-5 2008, Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Nijenhuis I, Martinez P, Junca H, Stelzer N, Imfeld G, Weber S, Richnow HH. In situ investigation of microbial diversity and anaerobic monochlorobenzene degradation along a vertical gradient. 19th V.M.Goldschmidt Conference 2009. June 21-26, Davos, Switzerland.

Duarte M, Ferreira-da-Silva F , Plumeier I , Bielecka A, Cámara B , Junca H , Manaia CM , Pieper DH and Nunes OC. Characterization of a new molinate hydrolase from G. molinativorax ON4T. 3rd FEMS Congress of European Microbiologists. June 28 –  July 2, 2009. Gottenburg, Sweden.

Vílchez R, Junca H, Geffers R and Pieper DH. Catabolic Microarray for Environmental Pollutant Contaminated Samples. 3rd FEMS Congress of European Microbiologists. June 28 –  July 2, 2009. Gottenburg , Sweden.

Junca H. Metagenomics and other omics. Talk at the ICGEB Theoretical and Practical Course on 'Metagenomics and Bioinformatics June 20 – 26, 2009, Bogotá, Colombia

Plumeier I, Vaz-Moreira I, Barreiros L, Camara B, Bielecka A, Duarte M, Junca H, Pieper DH, Nunes OC, Characterization of a new molinate hydrolase. 4th European Bioremediation Conference. September 3-6, 2008, Chania, Crete, Greece.

Mehboob F, Junca H, Schraa G, Stams AJM. Oxidation of alkanes coupled to chlorate reduction by Pseudomonas chloritidismutans AW-1T June 9-10 2008, Scientific Symposium “Soil & Water 2008”, NWO (the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research and SKB (Netherlands Center for Soil Quality Management and Knowledge Transfer), Zeist, the Netherlands.  

Junca H, Métodos de detección e interpretaciones acerca de la distribución y diversidad de rutas catabólicas de hidrocarburos en comunidades microbianas ambientales. I Encuentro Internacional de Biotecnología, Actualidades, Retos y Tendencias de la Biotecnología Mundial  – BIOUNALMED, Posgrado en Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Marzo 10-14, 2008, Medellín, Colombia.

Jakoblinnert A, Witzig R, Hecht H-J, Pieper DH & Junca H.  Assessment of toluene/biphenyl/isopropylbenzene dioxygenase gene diversity in polluted soils shows the presence of unusual sequence length polymorphisms. VAAM 2007, Annual Conference of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology. April 1-4, 2007, Osnabrück, Germany.

Pieper DH, Witzig R, Camara B, Ali HAH, Junca H. Catabolic gene landscapes in contaminated environments. Eurobiotech 2007. April 25-27, 2007, Krakow, Poland.

Junca H & Pieper DH. Reconstructing the phylogeny of ring hydroxylating dioxygenases for culture-independent insights on the ecology of aerobic biodegradation of aromatics. Poster presentation at ISME-11, August 20-25, 2006. Vienna, Austria.

 Junca H. Comprehensive detection of bacterial catabolic gene families: towards a concerted understanding of the ecology of biodegradation. Speaker at Special Session "Molecular tools for environmental pollution diagnosis" at 2nd FEMS Congress. July 4-8, 2006, Madrid, Spain.

 Junca H. In situ detection of functional genes for aerobic aromatic degradation. Invited speaker at: Workshop Perspektiven molekularer und isotopischer Methoden zum Nachweis des natürlichen Schadstoffabbaus in Böden, BMBF-Förderschwerpunktes KORA und des DECHEMA-IAK "Umweltbiotechnologie - Boden". Sept 29-30, 2005, FAL, Braunschweig, Germany.

Huu NB, Ha TCD, Junca H, Pieper DH. Analysis of microbial community structure in heavy and long-term herbicide contaminated soils . Workshop Perspektiven molekularer und isotopischer Methoden zum Nachweis des natürlichen Schadstoffabbaus in Böden, BMBF-Förderschwerpunktes KORA und des DECHEMA-IAK "Umweltbiotechnologie - Boden". Sept. 29-30, 2005, FAL, Braunschweig, Germany.

 Junca H, and Pieper DH. Culture dependent and culture independent evidences for a higher fitness of Pseudomonas spp. in response to benzene pollution during in situ adaptation of a Rhodococcus spp. dominated soil community. Poster at Pseudomonas 2005, 10th International Congress on Pseudomonas. Aug 27-31, 2005. Marseille, France.

Patoni M, Pieper DH, Katsivela E, Kalogerakis N, and Junca H. Detection by culture-independent methods of a predominating Dietzia-like species and of alkane hydroxylase sequences similar to the A. borkumensis alkB1 gene in coastal petroleum waste sludge. Poster at 3rd European Biotechnology Conference. July 4-7, 2005, Chania, Greece.

Witzig R, Junca H, Hecht H.-J, Pieper DH. Application of PCR-SSCP for detection and differentiation of Rieske non-heme iron oxygenases suggests a predominant functional role of isopropylbenzene dioxygenases in BTEX-contaminated soils. Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft International Workshop “Development and control of functional biodiversity at micro- and macro-scales” October 5-7, 2005, GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, Neuherberg/Munich, Germany

Pieper DH, Witzig R, Cámara B, Gabriel-Jürgens, H and Junca H. Accumulating basic knowledge on biodegradation processes and use of this knowledge for analyzing catabolic potential and metabolic networks in situ by culture-independent approaches. Oral presentation at NATO Advanced Research Workshop on the Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments, May 18-21, 2005, Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

Junca H & Pieper DH. Application of molecular fingerprinting to analyse non-cultured environmental genomes: exploring the effects of pollution on sequence diversity of gene families involved in aromatic degradation. Poster at ESF Workshop on Environmental Genomics and Environmental Metagenomics. November 18-20, 2004, Granada, Spain.

 Del Portillo P, Chacón-Martínez C, Anzola JM, Rojas A, Hernández JF, Junca H & Ocampo W. Caracterización molecular y bioquímica de una hemicelulasa del hongo fitopatógeno Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. dianthi. Oral presentation at the V Molecular Microbiology Meeting of the Spanish Society for Microbiology, September 15-17, 2004, Jaca, Spain.

 Junca H & Pieper DH. Improved tools to determine shifts in functional gene diversity: from fitness in communities to sequence polymorphisms affecting activities. Oral Presentation at Vereinigung für Allgemeine und Angewandte Mikrobiologie Jahrestagung 2004- VAAM2004. March 28-31, 2004, Braunschweig, Germany.

Junca H & Pieper DH. New application of PCR-SSCP to characterize polymorphisms in aromatic ring fission dioxygenases as a fingerprint of catabolic potential in natural microbial communities. Poster at the 7th Symposium on Bacterial Genetics and Ecology – BAGECO7. June 15-19, 2002, Bergen, Norway.

Carbajo JM, Junca H, González T, Zapico E, Terrón MC, Vilar JC, González AE. Effect of tanic acid and waste-waters in the expression of laccase gene in the white rot fungi Coriolopsis gallica. Poster at the 5th European Congress on Fungal Genetics. March 21-23, 2000, Arcachon, France.

Junca H, Hernández JF, De Portillo P. Molecular identification of the causal agent of wild disease of carnation. Oral presentation at the XII National Scientific Meeting, ACAC. November 2-4, 1998, Bucaramanga, Colombia.




» Other interests and activities


I am a professional drummer, with more than 20 years experience playing pop & rock music (hard rock, metal, progressive, latin and jazz rock).

I was the drummer for the recordings of Colombian rock bands Kabbalah 7 (1991-1995) and Aquanova (1995-1998) in Bogota; for the Spanish Indie rock band Viciana (1999-2001) in Madrid, and Drummer for the National Spanish TV Orchestra (Canal 1 TVE, 2000-2001) in Madrid.

I have vast experience in studio recording sessions and alive. Since 2008, back in Colombia, I have been involved as drummer or producer of various local artists such as Frank Font (pop rock), Julian Blanco (rock), Soul Warriors (power metal), Trux (metal).

Currently I am a drummer for studio recoding sessions for selected projects in different sound recording studios in Bogota and neighbouring areas.

I am not sponsored or endorsing any particular brand. My basic equipment includes a collection of Zildjian (K and Avedis 20" ping ride, 16" crashes and 12" splash), Sabian (22" Paragon Ride and AA 14" and 18" crashes, 10" splash and 13" hi-hats), Istanbul (15" Classic paper thin crash), Anatolian (17" Ultimate One crash) and Wuhan Cymbals (assorted 12", 14" and 18" Chinas and 14" heavy rock hi-hats), and Meinl (Raker 13 soundwave hi-hats and 10" splash) and a two drumsets both of 7-piece (8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 tms, 22 and 14 snares) both models 2015, Gretsch Catalina Maple in natural wood transparent lacquer and Tama Superstar Classic in blue transparent lacquer plus an auxiliary 13" x 6" piccolo Mapex maple snare drum. My set of microphones are (dynamic) ElectroVoice Co4, SM57, Behringer XM8500, and Senheiser for drums and percussion; and various small and large diaphragm condenser microphones (AKG and Behringer). I have a Korg digital recording studio D3200 and a USB 16 track Alesis interface to capture drums in 4 to 12 tracks (depending of the project) simultaneously at a maximum of 96 Khz at 48 bits. I have triggers to switch on an Alesis D4 percussion sound module and Yamaha pads.

You can hear some old and recent performances and recordings at



Ecology, environmental interests & projects

My father and I, we are the owners of a private natural reserve for biological resources conservation and educational purposes in Tabio, Cundinamarca, Colombia.

The idea of this preservation project my father had planned and developed, based on the previous inspiring experiences of Manuel Salazár (Manuel Semilla) and Tomás Issa, in Marsella, Risaralda, Colombia, consists in the involvement of any individual to contribute or to directly buy key areas for nature conservation, usually river basins of low economical value, in order to stop and avoid incompatible agricultural practices, and to plant and restore these areas with native vegetation. This also helps to control the access and the possible negative effects of people walking into water-producing fragile areas, and thus, aiming to avoid its contamination.

The reserve has the key function to work as an educational place where primary, high school and university students are guided, hearing talks about the importance of nature conservation and water protection. Additionally, my father, Armando Junca, is the author of the first environmental education book approved by the Ministry of Education of Colombia for schools teaching nation-wide (Hacia una educación ambiental, Oveja Negra)

The example of this experience is found in a small area in Tabio, a little town near Bogota, that is very dependent of a clean water source that, despite its importance, has not been protected by official authorities for decades. In the neighbouring 50 km around (practically all the Sabana de Bogotá) there is no other clean water source available.

Since 18 years ago my father has been protecting and doing activities for planting more than 22.000 trees, in less than 4 hectares with previously destroyed vegetation of the mountain

My father is a well-recognized environmentalist and ecologist in Colombia, with more than 30 years engangement in environment protection issues, as member and founder of various foundations and civil organizations aiming to preserve nature and to stop its destruction for the next generations. This is a life time project he is currently fully involved and dedicated. His initiatives and personality had received the attention of local and national media.

Some TV interviews can be found at youtube:

 January 2016
 *Email: info [at)