My research focuses on elucidating the thermodynamic controls (bioenergetics) on the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nutrients and metals. Microbial bioenergetics applies thermodynamic principles to quantitatively describe energy transformations and utilization to predict reaction rates and microbial growth. The goal of my research is to develop quantitative tools in combination with laboratory studies (e.g., mini-chemostats) to advance our ability to predict the response of microbial reaction networks to dynamic changes in physical (e.g., temperature) and geochemical (e.g., redox state, pH, substrate availability) conditions in environmental systems.
Current research projects include:
- Developing bioenergetics-based models to predict organic matter degradation in the subsurface
- Elucidating the bioenergetic controls on mixotrophic microbial growth to predict C-cycling in low energy environments
- Uranium biogeochemistry
- HydroBioGeoPhysics: Using geophysical methods to predict microbial growth