Our laboratory is currently focused on four primary research areas. The first focus involves the study of biosynthetic pathways for commodity fuels and high-value products from select bacteria and algae. Our second focus is on bacteria and cyanobacteria capable of biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) and the role these species play in the biological nitrogen cycle. Our third focus is related to the production of extracellular fermentable sugars and our final focus is related to organisms that are capable of biodegrading commodity plastics and other polymers in the environment.
Members of our laboratory must have a strong biology and biochemistry background with an interest in applied and basic science. In recent years, we have been constructing various tools for genetic approaches in model bacteria, and are interested in biosynthetic approaches to produce compounds that could replace current fuels or have value as specialty chemicals.
Specific Research Projects
- Biological Nitrogen Fixation (BNF) for sustainable solutions to agriculture and aquaculture
- Extracellular sugar production by model green algae
- Wax ester production in the model bacterium Marinobacter aquaeolei VT8
- Triacylglyceride (TAG) production from alkaline diatoms
- Directed evolution approaches for novel protein design and pathway engineering
- Identification of microbes capable of biodegrading polyethylene and polystyrene