• The Environmental Microbiology Laboratory is concerned with investigation of microorganisms from the natural environments. EML aims to describe microbes from air, soil and water; to study the interrelationships of microorganisms with the physical and chemical conditions and other biotic components; and to address environmental issues related to the field of Microbiology. Research microorganisms range from algae to bacteriophages to bacteria, including Escherichia coli, Enterococcus, and Salmonella. Research activities include prevalence of microorganisms in fresh produce, agricultural irrigation waters, and bioaerosols from various air pollution sources; antimicrobial properties and activities of extracts; diversity of microalgae. EML’s current projects are supported by collaborators and funded by agencies within and outside UP.

    Research Interests:

    • Environmental and food microbiology:
      Prevalence of microorganisms in fresh produce and irrigation waters
      Microbial risk assessment
      Development of wash solution

    • Antimicrobial properties and activities

    • Phycology
      Diversity of microalgae

    Research Microorganisms:

    Escherichia coli
    Bacteriophage Phi X 174 and MS2

    Aims of the Lab:

    • To describe microorganisms from various natural environments

    • To study the interrelationship of microorganisms with the physical and chemical conditions and other biotic components

    • To address environmental issues related to Microbiology

  • Pierangeli G. Vital, Ph.D. (Head)
    Assistant Professor 6
    Ph.D. Biology (Microbiology)
    Environmental and Food Microbiology | Phycology
    Ma. Angela Z. Dimasupil, M.Sc.
    University Research Associate
    PhD Biology (Microbiology) student

    Bea Clarise B. Garcia
    Research Associate
    M.Sc. Microbiology student

    Joseth Jermaine M. Abello
    University Research Associate
    M.Sc. Microbiology student

    Kuselah Mae Tayaban
    M.Sc. Microbiology student

    Cielo Emar Paraoan
    M.Sc. Microbiology student

    Ricardo De Vera
    Laboratory Aide

    Undergraduate Students

    Aprille Joy G. Reyes
    Alona Veronica B. Oliveros
    Rhoshela Vi C. Rendon


    Kenneth W. Widmer, Ph.D.

    Windell L. Rivera, Ph.D.
    Professor 6, UP Scientist III
    Ph.D. Medical Science
    Microbiology and Immunology
    Mylene G. Cayetano, Ph.D.

  • Current Projects

    • Prevalence and Antimicrobial Resistance of Bacterial Pathogens and Somatic Phages in Irrigation Waters Within Metro Manila
    • Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Microalgae causing HAB from Freshwater Shrimp Culture Ponds in Central Luzon, Philippines
    • Identification and Characterization of Bioaerosols from Various Air Pollution Sources
    • Detection of Enteric Microorganisms in Ready-to-eat Vegetables from Selected Open Air Markets in Metro Manila, Philippines
    • Isolation and Characterization of Enterococcus spp. in Irrigation Waters in Metro Manila
    • Survey of pathogens in vegetables of significance to food safety in Luzon, Philippines
    • Garcia BCB, Dimasupil MAZ, Vital PG, Widmer KW, Rivera WL. 2015. Fecal contamination in irrigation water and microbial quality of vegetable primary production in ubran farms of Metro Manila, Philippines. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B. DOI 10.1080/03601234.2015.1048107
    • Vital PG, Dimasuay KGB, Widmer KW, Rivera WL. 2014. Microbiological quality of fresh produce from open air markets and supermarkets within the Philippines. The Scientific World Journal. Article ID 219534.
    • Widmer KW, Van Ha NT, Vinitnantharat S, Sthiannopkao S, Wangsaatmaja S, Prasetiati MAN, Thanh NC, Thepnoo K, Sutadian AD, Thao HTT, Fapyane D, San V, Vital PG, Hur HG. 2013. Prevalence of Escherichia coli in Surface Waters of Southeast Asian Cities. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 29(11): 2115-2124.
    • Vital PG and Widmer KW. 2012. Real-time PCR for the detection and enumeration of Escherichia coli in surface waters from Vietnam. Hur H and Kang S (eds.). In Science and Technology for Sustainability. 9: 48-56.
    • Vital PG and Rivera WL. 2011. Antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity, and phytochemical screening of Voacanga globosa (Blanco) Merr. leaf extract (Apocynaceae). Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 10: 824-828.
    • Vital PG, Velasco RN Jr, Demigillo JM, Rivera WL. 2010. Antimicrobial activity, cytotoxicity and phytochemical screening of Ficus septica Burm and Sterculia foetida L. leaf extracts. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. 4(1): 058-063.
    • Vital PG and Rivera WL. 2009. Antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity of Chromolaena odorata (L. f.) King and Robinson and Uncaria perrottetii (A. Rich) Merr extracts. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. 3(7): 511-518.