Microbes are everywhere. When most people think of microbes they think of the ones that can make you sick, but microbes are also present in almost every kind of environment on Earth. Basically, scientists find microbes wherever they care to look! Even though microbes are physically very small, the collective activities of microbial communities are incredibly influential on the functioning of earth’s overall biosphere. Thus, it’s important to study how microbes interact with each other and their environment in order to obtain a clearer picture of how our planet works on a system-wide scale and how it will change in a warming climate.

As a marine microbial ecologist, I’m interested in microbes that live in the ocean and how these organisms interact with each other and their physical environment. To study the ecology of marine microbes I read their genomes as documents that describe a history of interactions. I use “omics” techniques and tools from microbial genetics and physiology to elucidate patterns of ecological differentiation in microbial genomes with the ultimate goal of connecting these patterns to ecological and biogeochemical gradients.

Research Projects

  • Shotgun metagenomic profiling of Prochlorococcus communities

  • Trace metal aquisition in Prochlorococcus

  • Prochlorococcus genome evolution

  • Heme uptake by marine heterotrophic bacteria

  • Molecular mechanisms and underlying genetics of microbial nutrient aquisition

  • Structure - function relationships of microbial communities