Photo of Erich Fleming

Erich Fleming

Assistant Professor, Biology

Contact Information


Ph.D. Biology, University of Oregon, 2006
B.S. Biochemistry, UC Davis, 1996


Dr. Erich Fleming received his B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of California, Davis and his Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Oregon.
Erich began his undergraduate education at UC Davis as an engineering student but was quickly drawn to Biology. At UCD, he worked as a lab technician studying gene expression in the brains of nutrient starved rats. After graduation he worked as a research assistant for 3 years on breast cancer and then on the evolution of cellular translation mechanisms. Erich went on to get his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon studying microbial tolerance to environmental extremes (desiccation, high temperature and ultraviolet radiation). His work focused on cyanobacteria from the Baja California coast and the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park. Erich most recently worked the NASA Ames Research Center as a postdoctoral researcher and then as a research scientist for the SETI Institute. While a NASA and SETI he researched alternative biofuels from algae and developed satellites to study the effects of the space environment on terrestrial microbes.
As a scientist Erich studies freshwater and marine microbial communities from moderate or extreme environments (i.e. hot springs, deserts, alpine lakes). Erich uses molecular and traditional culture based techniques to learn about microbial diversity, physiology and evolution. Erich is developing a research program and classes that take advantage of the microbial diversity around CSU Channel Islands. Erich is also an avid artist interested in trying to find new ways to convey scientific concepts through art and multimedia.
Erich enjoys backpacking, astronomy and working on art projects in his spare time.

Representative Courses Taught

  • BIOL 301 Microbiology
  • BIOL 303 Evolutionary Biology



Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, Diversity, Evolution, Extremophiles, Astrobiology