Our laboratory is interested in how microorganisms co-evolve with their environment (i.e. how microbial metabolic activities change the environment, and how the environment shapes these activities), with a focus on understanding how electron transfer reactions support energy conservation in the absence of oxygen. We are particularly interested in the physiological strategies taken by bacteria when they are growing slowly–the dominant pace of life on the planet, yet one that is poorly understood. Much of our research involves the study of colorful, redox-active metabolites (RAMs) called phenazines, molecules produced by many different types of bacteria. We are interested in how RAMs help structure microbial populations and communities in various contexts, including biofilm aggregates found within human chronic infections or near the roots of plants. Central to our ability to achieve relevant mechanistic insight is our commitment to characterizing the complex contexts that motivate our reductionist research. Ultimately, we are driven by the long-term goal of contributing new approaches to promoting both human and environmental health.
We are an interdisciplinary lab, and seek help from talented scientists of all types to explore these topics. We are committed to training and enabling young scientists with diverse backgrounds (country of origin, ethnicity, gender, race, sexual-orientation, 1st-gen. college, etc.) to make discoveries during their time in our laboratory and to prepare for a variety of impactful STEM careers.