Research

Microbiology
I am interested in all aspects of microbiology, however, my research interests lie primarily in microbial ecology. I have experience working with a diversity of microbes, including bacteria, protists, and fungi, from both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. I study population, community, and ecosystem phenomena, with the ultimate hope of understanding how the specific roles of different microbes in their communities contribute to the structure and function of their ecosystems, that is, our life-support systems!

Evolution
IAntibiotic resistance develops rapidly in microorganisms. Populations of bacteria that develop antibiotic resistance retain that resistance long after exposure, suggesting that resistance maintenance is selectively advantageous, or at least selectively neutral.  Presumably, the synthesis of molecules involved in resistance to specific antibiotics represents little energetic cost to microbes, relative to the advantage it confers to potential subsequent exposures to the selective agent. I am currently attempting to test this hypothesis by comparing the success of antibiotic resistant and susceptible strains of bacteria in carbon-limited environments. 

Ecotoxicology
I am using zebra fish (Danio rerio) embryos as a model for the effects of chemicals on vertebrate development.