Using secondary metabolites to understand microbial ecology and biogeochemistry in soils and sediments

Genetic regulation of microbial secondary metabolite production

Secondary metabolites, including many molecules we think of as antibiotics, are commonly made by microbes in nature. Currently, we don’t understand their function in this context. Can understanding when microbes make these secondary metabolites help us understand why?

Natural isolates

To understand microbial communities in soils and sediments we are studying the secondary metabolite “tools” produced by microbes that have been isolated from these environments.

Hypothesis testing in the field

Our ultimate goal is to use our lab-based findings to understand macronutrient cycling in the environment. We bridge the lab-to-environment gap through small and medium scale field experiments designed to validate the hypotheses we develop at the bench.