A/Prof. Lauro has pioneered skills in both experimental and computational sciences – in particular deep-sea microbiology and the latest 'omic' technologies. In total, he has authored 51 peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals, including Science and PNAS. In 2009, he described a mathematical model, which could predict the trophic strategy of marine bacteria from its genome sequence. This approach was widely acclaimed, and was the start of his integrative multidisciplinary venture – combining (meta) genomics, bioinformatics, physics and chemistry for the study of microbes in the global biogeochemical cycles. In 2011, Lauro described the microbial ecosystem of an entire Antarctic lake using a systems biology approach, shifting the conventional ecological paradigm away from microbial populations to whole microbial communities. Lauro’s research and his innovative ideas continue to put him at the forefront of his field. In a 2014 publication (Lauro et al. 2014), Federico addresses the lack of data coverage and sampling across oceanic waters, a prevalent issue that has always left the scientific community with incomplete information to make concrete deductions and predictions on ocean weather, currents, climatic patterns, trajectories of missing objects and the like. Currently, there is little information to allow even for an estimate of the physical, biological and chemical characteristics of the world’s waters. Lauro’s open call for the crowdsourcing of oceanographic data has garnered much attention and will hopefully lay the foundation for yet another pioneering success. Along with his pursuit of marine microbial environments, Lauro is extending his expertise and highly renowned set of skills to that of the air microbiome.