Microorganisms involved in the nitrogen and carbon cycles feed the base of the food web and directly affect global climate. Both of these cycles are heavily impacted by human activities but for most regions of the ocean, the resolution of biological and chemical datasets is too low to accurately forecast the resulting effects on microbial processes. High-resolution data collection in natural oceanic gradients delivers a quantitative understanding of the distributions and activities of organisms involved in key chemical transformations, relative to environmental parameters.
In order to obtain high-resolution biological datasets from marine systems, our group develops deployable biosensing technologies to detect key functional genes and transcripts from microbes involved in biogeochemical cycling. My latest research involves the sequencing and analysis of environmental metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets to inform probe design, the development and optimization of molecular biological assays for autonomous instrumentation, and the design, development and implementation of genetic sensing and sampling technologies in the ocean.
Marine Microbiology and Biosensors