John D. Coates, Ph.D.

John D. Coates, Ph.D.

University of California, Berkeley

John D. Coates, Ph.D., is a professor of microbiology and distinguished director of the Energy & Biosciences Institute (EBI) at University of California, Berkeley.  In addition, he is a senior scientist in the Environmental Genomics and System Biology Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and co-founder of 4 startup companies.

Coates’ research seeks to balance society's need to provide environmental protection while maintaining stable economic growth. His research focuses on the underlying microbiology of disparate biogeochemical redox cycles and their application including those of iron, uranium, humic substances, chlorine, iodine, phosphorous, sulfur and carbon. His research leverages both traditional and next generation technologies, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches, and provides insight into the mechanistic underpinnings of many unique metabolic processes. His research has been globally employed for environmental clean-up strategies for diverse contaminants.

Coates’ current research focuses on several aspects of microbial phosphorous redox cycling, carbon sequestration and synthetic biology with a goal of enhancing the burgeoning bioeconomy in an effort to find scalable alternatives to unsustainable practices and climate change. 

Coates earned his B.S. in biotechnology from Dublin City University, Ireland, and his Ph.D. from National University of Ireland, Galway. He has received several accolades for research and mentorship. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a recipient of a Special Alumnus Recognition Award from the National University of Ireland, Galway.