My laboratory studies the physiology of hyperthermophilic archaea and the geomicrobiology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Our main study sites are the hydrothermal vent systems at Axial Volcano and the Endeavour Segment in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Below are descriptions of our current projects.
Growth constraints & interspecies interactions
We model how nutrients and energy sources define the limits of growth for various thermophiles, how interspecies cooperation and competition affects these limits, and the impact of subseafloor life on marine biogeochemistry.
Life detection in rock
We use a suite of spectroscopic techniques to identify biosignatures in nature, especially mineral biosignatures, and correlate those with host rock and fluid chemistry compositions.
We are exploring the feasibility of using hyperthermophilic heterotrophs to treat agricultural waste and produce hydrogen as a bioenergy product.
Research interests - short:
Physiology and ecology of hyperthermophilic archaea; Geomicrobiology of geothermal environments