Most of life is too small to see with the naked eye.
Although their size is small, their effects on animals are large. Microbes—bacteria and fungi—influence animals in many different ways. Beyond health or sickness, microbes can determine how animals eat, who they find sexy, what is stressful, and what things taste good. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Beginning with the invention of the microscope, and thanks to the continued development of molecular and bioinformatics tools, we are now able to explore a whole new world that has always existed around us. My research focuses on understanding this world.
I am a microbial explorer.
Beyond seeking novel biology, I seek novel applications. From new antibiotics to use, to new beer flavors to experience, from new allergens to fight, to new tools to design with, the microbial world offers great opportunity.
I am a microbial wrangler.
Broadly, I am an ecological bioengineer. I explore environmental (‘wild’) microbes and use them for new applications. I search to find out what may be structuring their communities, to understand who they are, to decipher what they can do. I then develop ways of harnessing this information to produce new technologies and better human experiences.
This is where our adventure begins.
**((Photo credits, unless otherwise mentioned, are my own. They can only be used with explicit written permission. The statements on these pages are my own, and are not those of the various institutions, funding organizations, or individuals mentioned on these pages.))**
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