Ignacio Chapela is Professor of Microbial Ecology at the University of California, Berkeley. Education as a Biologist at the National University of Mexico (UNAM), training in the ecology of eukaryotic microbes, particularly in forest ecosystems at the University of Wales. Experience in the trans-national industry during the time of emergence of Biotechnology in the mid-late 1980s. Apart from research appointments in Norway, the US and Switzerland, he has also advised multiple organizations, from the inter-governmental to the local, on the evolving aspects of biological manipulation and politics, particularly the emergence of Genetic Engineering, bioprospecting and biosecurity. Among them are indigenous communities in Mexico and Ecuador, the preparatory work for the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Bank, the Panamerican Health Organization and the US National Academy of Sciences. Current work includes technical as well as conceptual aspects of the detection of microbial life in public environments.