Franco Baldi graduated 1975 at Siena University and since 1998 he joined in Cà Foscari University as Associated Professor and from 2005 is full Professor at the same University in General Microbiology (BIO-19). He has a scientific expertise on environmental microbiology with a special interest on microbial interactions with metals in terrestrial and marine ecosystems with relative applications. He published almost 100 publications mostly in international journals and most of them are reported at Cà Foscari University site: (http://www.unive.it/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=82491&persona=001679&vista=pubb_anno). He worked in several laboratories mostly in Europe and in U.SA., and here the most important changes in his carrier are here reported:
Professor Franco Baldi from 2011 joined in the new Department in Molecular Science and Nanosystems at Cà Foscari University, Venice. From 1998 to 2005, he appointed Associated Professor at same University at the Dept. Environmental Sciences. From 01-04/1991, he was Visiting Scientist at Pittsburg Energy Technology Center – Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA. From 03-04/1990, he was Visiting Scientist at Laboratoire d'Ecologie Fondamentale et Ecotoxicologie - Université de Bordeaux (Talence, Bordeaux), France. From 01-03/1988, he was Visiting Scientist at National Bureau of Standards (NBS today NIST) Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. In July 1986, he was Consultant at National Bureau of Standards (NBS today NIST) Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. In June 1985, he was Visiting Scientist at Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis (Missouri) USA. From 1984 to 1985, he was recipient of NATO Fellowship at National Bureau of Standards (NBS today NIST), Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. From 1981 to 1998 he was Scientific Researcher at Siena University, Italy. From March to September 1980, he was recipient of CNR Fellowship at Oceanography Department, University of Liverpool, (UK). In February 1980 he was FAO Consultant of Fishery Department, at Alexandria of Egypt (Egypt). From 1977 to 1981, he was recipient of EU (ex-CEE) Fellowship of Hydrobiology and Fishery Institute at Siena University, Italy.
The undersigned have been a member of American Society for Microbiology (ASM) from 1987. From 1988 he has been a member of American Society of Industrial Microbiology (ASIM). From 1989 he has been a member of Società Italiana di Microbiologia e Biotecnologie Microbiche (SIMGBM). From 1992 he has been a Member of Commission for the Scientific Exploration of the Mediterranean Sea (CIESM). From 2001 he has been a member of Società Italiana di Microbiologia (SIM).
FB has always been interested in the study of bacteria involved in mercury cycle with particular interest in the processes of transformation of chemical species of this metal in different marine habitats, lagoons and lands. He is also interested in microorganisms resistant chrome vanadium and barium, isolated from various industrial sites. FB for many years also dedicated its time to the isolation and characterization of bacteria involved in mineral ores bioleaching (Bio-hydrometallurgy). This research was carried out for many years using acidophilic chemolithotrophic bacteria and some archaea to retrieve from mine acid drianages the so-called "strategic metals" namely: cobalt, nickel and copper. During this period FB has isolated and characterized different chemolithotrophs strains from various mines in order to determine their metal resistance and ability to leach ore minerals. These bioleaching technique later were applied to industrial soils to remove metals and hydrocarbons by helping and improving in-situ growth of lignolitic fungi. FB is also interested in the biodegradation of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments of the lagoon of Venice, where he 'was isolated a new bacterial species. FB also in collaboration with other colleagues of other University has conducted research on microbial diversity in sediments of Venice lagoon and in the Arctic and Antarctic areas. In particular we have studied microbial communities directly involved in the formation and soil fertility that would facilitate the growth of plants, induced by the leaching of moraine rocks containing micro-sedimentary pyrite nodules. Microbial biodiversity studies were also conducted in the sediments of Terra Nova Bay in Antarctica. Several years ago, FB became interested in bacterial exocellular molecules capable of binding metals such as mechanism of adaptation in acid mine drainage. These bacteria synthesize significant amounts of exopolysaccharides (EPS) which complex metals. In particular, a new strain was isolated from the mines of pyrite and it is capable of producing a special EPS that binds ferric ions. This EPS complex other metals such as palladium, platinum, rhodium, gold, silver, and nickel and probably other more. Recently it was shown that the EPS, bound to various metals, manifests peculiar catalytic activities, which gives the possibility to transform organic pollutants simultaneosly to the production of metallic nanoparticles, coated with EPS, for further and important applications.