WHOI Mailing Address:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Rd.
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1050
My research interests lie in the overlap between ecology, microbiology, and biogeochemistry in the marine environment. My doctoral work focused on sponge-microbe symbioses and nutrient dynamics on coral reefs. I used multiple complementary approaches to address questions regarding the microbial community composition of the sponge Xestospongia muta, the relationship between the sponge and its symbionts, and the cycling of nitrogen, a limiting nutrient on coral reefs, in the sponge. Nitrogen and other nutrients are often transformed by microbes and can exhibit complex cycling in an environment such as coral reefs where there are abundant and ecologically important organisms living in close associations, each mediating elemental cycling. It was my interest in better understanding nutrient cycling in the marine environment that has led to my current postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Dr. Kujawinski at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Currently, as a postdoctoral scholar in the marine chemistry and geochemistry department at WHOI I am learning new methods and tools in the field of metabolomics. In collaboration with Dr. Santoro at Horn Point Laboratory, I will be working with an enigmatic but abundant group of marine microbes known as ammonia-oxidizing Archaea. By utilizing molecular skills developed during my doctoral work, such as mining public genomic databases, combined with new analytical and biochemistry techniques that I am learning at WHOI, I am working to determine the metabolic profile of the marine archaea and better understand how they influence nutrient cycling in the ocean.