Trevor Charles

Trevor Charles
Professor, Director, WCMR
Location: B1 377C
Phone: 519-888-4567 x35606


Professor Charles is a microbiologist with expertise in bacterial molecular genetics. His research group studies the mechanisms of gene regulatory circuits that control the interactions of Rhizobiales bacteria such as Sinorhizobium meliloti with their eukaryal hosts.

The group also develops methods for functional metagenomics using alternate surrogate hosts, and employs these methods to isolate novel genes with interesting functions from microbial community genomic libraries.

Current research emphasis is on functional metagenomics, bioplastics and bacterial genome engineering.

Research Interests

  • Plant-microbe interactions
  • Symbiotic nitrogen fixation
  • Functional metagenomics
  • Bacterial genome engineering
  • Synthetic biology, bioplastics and bioproducts
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Climate Extremes and Food Production
  • Viruses in Aquatic Ecosystems


  • 1991 Ph.D. Biology, McMaster University, Canada
  • 1985 B.Sc. Microbiology, University of British Columbia, Canada


  • 2015 Fellowship of Association of Biotechnology and Pharmacy (India)
  • 2015 International Award of the Ninth DBN Science and Technology Awards (China)
  • 2012 Outstanding Performance Award
  • 2000-2010 President, Canadian Society of Microbiologists
  • 1991 NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship


  • LiftOff, Executive Director
  • Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Microbiology, Microbe and Virus Interactions with Plants
  • Senior Editor, Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions

Professional Associations

  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Canadian Society of Microbiologists
  • International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • International Society for Microbial Ecology

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • The Water Institute, member
  • Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI), core member
  • Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE), member
  • Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research (Director)
  • Waterloo Climate Institute, member


  • BIOL 431 - Bacterial Molecular Genetics
    • Taught in 2019, 2021, 2023, 2024
  • BIOL 475 - Current Topics in Microbiology
    • Taught in 2019, 2022, 2024
  • BIOL 608 - Advanced Bacterial Genetics
    • Taught in 2021
  • CHE 500 - Special Topics in Chemical Engineering
    • Taught in 2020, 2021

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

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