Dept. of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology
Microbes are, unquestionably, the most critical members of our biosphere. They exist in every habitat, playing a role in mediating atmospheric and ocean composition and governing elemental cycles in soils and sediments. The last two decades have been a watershed for microbiology, with major advances in genomic sequencing and other technologies that have fundamentally changed our view of microbial diversity and evolution. However, our understanding of what microbes are doing in nature –in particular the degree to which they influence biogeochemical cycles– is still in its infancy. My lab's research is aimed at better understanding microbial activity through in situ and laboratory studies. To that end we develop technologies that allow us to better relate microbial activity to the environment, such as underwater mass spectrometers and stable isotope analyzers.