I am a microbiologist who studies agricultural and environmental engineering systems, seeking to improve our understanding of both the microorganisms and the application. Outside of the laboratory, microorganisms typically exist within diverse communities under dynamic environmental conditions. The study of these natural microbial communities – microbial ecology – is important for understanding and manipulating microorganisms. Furthermore, the metabolic and regulatory networks of microorganisms have been shaped by their environments and their interactions with other organisms and therefore need to be understood in that context. By understanding microbial physiology, we can also identify novel ways of harnessing microorganisms for environmental protection or remediation. Common goals of my research projects include developing a better understanding microbial physiology in mixed cultures under dynamic conditions and investigating novel applications of microorganisms and their components.