I am a postdoctoral research fellow working with Ann Pearson in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. In August 2018, I will be joining the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at McGill University as an Assistant Professor. If you are interested in PhD or post-doc positions, please contact me!
My research focuses on understanding microbial processes that control the fate of organic compounds in aquatic environments. I employ a variety of tools, ranging from high throughput DNA sequencing to isotope geochemistry, to investigate the interplay between microbial metabolic activity and carbon cycling.
Aquatic sediments are carbon-rich environments that harbor complex and diverse microbial communities which mediate biogeochemical cycling. Understanding the interplay between the changing nature of organic matter and the response of heterotrophic bacteria is a major challenge and a key component of the carbon cycle. However, this is difficult to empirically test due to the inherent complexity and high diversity of sedimentary organic matter and microbial communities. My research at Harvard uses a novel bioreactor system (IsoCaRB) to investigate how heterotrophic microbes select and access carbon substrates in sediments. Using this system, I have been able to provide insight into the accessibility of sedimentary organic matter and demonstrate how bioavailability of natural substrates may affect the function and composition of heterotrophic bacterial populations. My current research examines the extent to which organic matter transformation and mineralization may be species-specific and influenced by the metabolic potential of microbial populations that are present and active. To learn more about this project, please check out C-DEBI.