The objective of the Microbiology section is to characterize the nature and causes of deterioration due to microorganisms such as actinomycetes bacteria, fungi, algae and lichens. The work of this section is cross-cutting, as these phenomena, in their various forms, affect all of the different materials of which monuments are made (stone, concrete, paintings, wood, textile, etc.).
Various research projects on deterioration mechanisms are currently under way. Some of the topics are narrow in scope, like the study on resolving the browning phenomenon of glass through microbiological oxidation of manganese, while others are broader, such as fungal contamination of works of art due to microbial volatile organic components. We also undertake research in the field of biotechnology, of which our work on biomineralization is an example.