My research centers on the interactions between humans and marine biogeochemistry, particularly the effects of human activities on natural systems, and I aim to connect molecular-scale processes to ecosystem-scale phenomena. I am motivated to answer fundamental biological questions with my research, while also keeping my findings relevant and accessible to the public and environmental stewards. I am also passionate about teaching and outreach to increase scientific literacy because I believe this improves science overall.
For my dissertation research, I focused on the effects of invasive species, environmental restoration, and climate change on greenhouse gas fluxes and microbial ecology in New England salt marshes. Happily, my research showed that salt marshes are largely resistant or resilient to these impacts. At Harvard, I am investigating microbial production of gaseous alkanes by hydrothermal vent microbes. Characterizing these poorly-understood metabolic pathways will contribute to our emerging understanding of molecular-scale carbon cycling in anoxic environments, and may lay the groundwork for new biofuel technology.
Biological Laboratories Building, 3102
Cambridge, MA 02138