Departamental II – DII. 246
Area of Biodiversity and Conservation
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
c/ Tulipán, s/n.
E-28933 Móstoles (Madrid)

Phone: +34 91 488 7192
Fax:      +34 91 664 7490
E-mail: raquel.simarro at

Researh interests

Bioremediation is my main line of research and therefore, in this field I have acquired most of my knowledge. However, bioremediation encompasses different fields of action due to the different types of contaminants and environments that can be treated with this technique. Therefore, the studies are focused on the effects of the abiotic factors and their modifications on the biodegradation process, the different techniques of bioremediation as well as the effects that the succession and dynamics of the bacterial community exert in the process. Due to the wide variety of ecosystems that may be contaminated or affected by a toxic spill, it is very important to know the degradative capacity that potentially presents the autochthonous community of the ecosystem in question. To try to understand this important issue, much of my studies have been done with pristine communities studying their response to soil contamination with PAHs, creosote and diesel.

Although I specialize in bacterial biodegradation processes in PAH-contaminated soils, a parallel line is the biodegradation of emerging compounds as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) to develop and implement biodegradation in wastewater treatment plants to control and eliminate the most common PPCPs in these waters.

The study and development of efficient biodegradation processes must always be accompanied by a study of the composition, succession and behavior of the bacterial communities involved. Traditional molecular techniques such as bacterial cultures, isolation of colonies and extraction and amplification of DNA sequences are performed to identify bacterial consortia. In addition, culture-independent molecular techniques such as denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) are performed. The DGGE is a technique that provides data regarding the composition and evolution of the species (cultivable and non-cultivable) of a given environmental sample and allows for studies and space-time comparisons between different samples. Through the analysis of the images can be obtained data of wealth, biodiversity and abundance of the bacterial community. FISH is an additional technique that contributes interesting information of a physiological nature and its combination with cytometric techniques allows the quantification of the microorganisms present in the sample that perform a certain function.


Bautista, L. F.; Vargas, C.; González, N.; Molina, M. C.; Simarro, R.; Salmerón, A; Murillo, Y. (2016). Assessment of biocides and ultrasound treatment to avoid bacterial growth in diesel fuel. Fuel Processing Technology 152: 56–63. PDF

Molina, M. C.; González Benítez, N.; Simarro, R.; Bautista, L. F.; Vargas, C.; García-Cambero, J. P.; Díaz, E. M.; Arrayás M.; Quijano, M. A. (2016). Bioremediation techniques for naproxen and carbamazepine elimination. Toxicity evaluation test. Chemistry Today 34: 31-38. PDF

Bautista, L. F.; Vargas, C.; González, N.; Molina, M. C.; Simarro, R.; Salmerón, A.; Murillo, Y. (2014). Physical and chemical treatments to prevent the growth of microorganisms in diesel fuel storage tanks. Chimica Oggi – Chemistry Today 32: 56-71. PDF

González, N.; Bautista, L. F.; Molina, M. C.; Simarro, R.; Vargas, C.; Flores, R.(2013). Efecto de la concentración de surfactante y de la temperatura en la biodegradación de naftaleno, antraceno y fenantreno por Enterobacter sp., Pseudomonas sp. y Stenotrophomonas sp. aislados de un consorcio degradador de HAP. Anales de Química 109 (3): 1–6. PDF

Simarro, R.; González, N.; Bautista, L. F.; Molina, M. C. (2013). Assessment of the efficiency of in situ bioremediation techniques in a creosote polluted soil: Change in bacterial community. Journal of Hazardous Materials 262: 158-167. PDF

Simarro, R.; González, N.; Bautista, L. F.; Molina, M. C. (2013). Biodegradation of high-molecular-weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by a wood degrading bacterial consortium at low temperatures. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 83: 438-449. PDF

Simarro, R.; González, N.; Bautista, L. F.; Molina, M. C.; Schiavi, E. (2012). Evaluation of the influence of multiple environmental factors on the biodegradation of dibenzofuran, phenanthrene, and pyrene by a bacterial consortium using an orthogonal experimental design. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 223: 3437-3444. PDF

Simarro, R.; González, N.; Bautista, L. F.; Sanz, R.; Molina, M. C. (2011). Optimisation of key abiotic factors of PAH (naphtalene, phenanthrene and anthracene) biodegradation process by a bacterial consortium. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 217: 365-374. PDF

González, N.; Simarro, R.; Molina, M. C.; Bautista, L. F.; Delgado, L.; Villa, J. A. (2011). Effects of surfactants on PAH biodegradation by a bacterial consortium and on the dynamics of the bacterial community during the process. Bioresource Technology 102: 9438-9446. PDF

Molina, M. C.; González, N.; Bautista, L. F.; Sanz, R.; Simarro, R.; Sánchez, I.; Sanz, J. L. (2009). Isolation and genetic identification of PAH degrading bacteria from a microbial consortium. Biodegradation 20: 789-800. PDF

Salmerón, A.; Murillo, Y.; Bautista, L. F.; González, N.; Molina, M. C.; Vargas, C.; Simarro, R. (2015). Bacterial identification and assessment of treatments to avoid microbial growth in diesel fuel storage tanks. En: Bartz, W. J. (ed.) Fuel conventional and future energy for automobiles: 173-179. Technische Akademie Esslingen, Ostfildern. PDF