Marine microbes carry out a variety of biochemical reactions that shape the chemistry of the ocean in which they live. The ocean has many and variable chemical gradients, for example, oxygen minimum zones, each with its own community of marine microbes. The fundamental mechanism by which these microorganisms respond to natural chemical gradients and ephemeral substrate injections to create the observed biogeochemical structure, however, is unknown. My research seeks an understanding of microbial/chemical interactions and global nutrient cycling as a whole. Bacterial metabolism of nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen is being simulated using laboratory microfluidics experiments designed to test how marine microorganisms respond to chemical gradients and interact with their environment.
I also direct you to Roman Stocker’s (my Postdoc advisor) lab research page for exciting (and super cool) descriptions of the complementary projects in the lab.