Microbial communities exist in almost every environment, but due to their microscopic size, their importance has been under explored.  Yet, with the development of new molecular tools, we are finally beginning to understand the immense diversity of microorganisms and the important ecological roles they play. Inspired by this hidden diversity, I have built a research program focused on uncovering the complexities of microbial life primarily in soil environments from tropical forests to farmlands across the world.

More specifically, I am a community ecologist who asks broad ecological questions about what drives ecosystem function and community assembly using some of the smallest and most numerous things on earth: chemical elements, microorganisms and invertebrates. I combine the technical toolkit of a microbiologist and bioinformatician to conduct field- and lab-based experiments that investigate key ecological processes. While my research interests are extensive, a common theme throughout is exploring soil and leaf litter environments to understand ecosystem-level processes like nutrient cycling and decomposition.

Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions you may have.

Examining an Azteca trigona nest on Barro Colorado Island in Panama.