Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology
Marine & Coastal Sciences
School of Environmental & Biological Sciences
New Brunswick. NJ 08903
Deep-sea microbiology, extremophiles, molecular ecology, adaptations to extreme environments
Research in my laboratory is focused on the physiology, ecology and evolution of prokaryotes that inhabit geothermal environments. The overarching objective of my research revolves on the question: "how did microbial metabolism evolve?" Anaerobic, thermophilic Bacteria and Archaea that inhabit deep-sea geothermal environments and make a living off volcanic gases carry both ancestral and more recently acquired traits (genes and enzymes) and can be used as models to reconstruct early metabolism. In my laboratory we devote a considerable effort to "domesticate" some of the most fascinating organisms on our planet, and to use them as models to understand the evolution of early metabolism and the adaptations to environments that resemble the early Earth.