My research is broadly focused on the biology of the developmentally diverse heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria with an emphasis on a combination of global -omics, molecular/genetic, cell biology and biochemical approaches.
I am particularly interested in two differentiated cell types, nitrogen fixing heterocysts and motile hormogonia and how these cell types function to establish symbioses with eukaryotic organisms where the cyanobacteria provide a source of fixed nitrogen. It has been estimated that these types of symbioses account for nearly 50% of all terrestrial biological nitrogen fixation.
I work with Nostoc punctiforme as a model organism for heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria and have the capability to recreate the symbiotic infection process in the lab with the bryophyte hornwort Anthoceros punctatus, one of many symbiotic plant partners N. punctiforme associates with.
I received an undergraduate degree in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire and then attended graduate school at the University of Hawaii where I switched my focus to Microbiology. After completing my Ph.D. I went to University of California, Davis where I conducted post-doctoral research before joining the faculty here at the University of the Pacific.
Courses taught: BIOL 145: Microbiology
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
Dept. Fax: 209.946.3022
Office: Biology Building Room 244
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211