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Past Projects

Microbes and Human Health

Oral Microbial Ecology

Our lab has worked on several projects with the Forsyth Institute, resulting in authorship on a number of publications characterizing microbial communities associated with oral health. 

Embryonic Stem Cells

Microbe-Microbe Interactions in Nutrient Cycling


Analyzing the biochemical transformation of bokashi fertilizer

As an extension of member Nisreen Abo-Sido's thesis project analyzing the biogeochemical transformation of bokashi, a traditional fertilizer made from waste material, we are categorizing the bacterial and fungal communities that both aerobically and anaerobically convert the starting material into a nutrient-rich fertilizer.

The role of microbes in modern ooid formation

Ooids are small, spherical, carbonate grains that are commonly found in the geological record.  We are investigating the role of microbial communities in forming and shaping ooids, as controversy remains over the process that govern ooid formation.


Biological deterioration of a sandstone sculpture

To aid in preserving an ancient Buddhist sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), we are examining the mosses, lichen, fungi, and photosynthesizing bacteria growing on the surface of the stele.  The microbial growth has caused erosion and disfiguration of the stele and, in collaboration with the MFA, we are assessing how best to prevent further damage.

The impact of climate change on microbial communities in permafrost

With an interdisciplinary team of scientists from the United States, Sweden, and Australia, we are studying how changes in microbial communities as permafrost thaws affect carbon cycling, particularly greenhouse gases.  This work is in collaboration with Professor Virginia Rich's lab at Ohio State University.

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