Microbial ecologist, molecular biologist and geneticist, activist and amateur artist and photographer endeavoring a doctorate. Based in Berkeley, CA.
Jardins de Joan Brossa, Barcelona, Espana 2015
An amateur. All images featured entirely through my Lens.
I ADMIRE LIFE LANDSCAPES:
FAUNA AND FLORA
THE HUMAN CONDITION
ENVIRONMENTS OVER TIME
Sag Harbor, New York, USA 2016
Jardí Botànic de Barcelona, Barcelona, Espana 2015
The overall goal of my scientific pursuits is to understand how the environment influences ecological systems and organismal biology. Over the past two centuries we have placed unprecedented demands on the Earth’s natural resources. As a result of these pressures, we have witnessed an accelerated loss of biodiversity and a dramatic alteration of ecological patterns and processes. These changes have potentially devastating consequences in the long term if left unchecked. Consequently, I am personally and professionally committed to help find solutions to this crisis.
One major consequence of these demands, resulting from decades of long-term fire suppression strategies, is the increased frequency and breadth of high severity wild fires across our planet. These wildfires have a significant impact on soil carbon stocks, transforming soil organic carbon into pyrolyzed carbon via combustion. These pyrolyzed carbon compounds are chemically heterogeneous, determined by the initial substrates and the temperature at which they are transformed, and much of these are highly aromatic and extremely recalcitrant. These carbon compounds constitute approximately 80% of total soil organic carbon in fire-effected ecosystems. However, this trapped carbon can be emancipated by pyrophilous microbes! I aim to elucidate how these fire-adapted microbes respond to and transform pyrolyzed carbon substrates in post-fire soils using a combination of 16s sequencing and community profiling, transcriptomics and metabolomics with microbes isolated from post-fire soils from Pyrocosms (an experimentally tractable system used to mimic wild fire conditions with defined soil and fuel sources to generate pyrolyzed soils and monitor succession) and via long-term field study sites at Blodgett Forest Research Station. My objective is to elucidate microbial community successional dynamics and metabolic potentials in these environments. My hope is that this research aides in the development of bioremediation strategies to efficiently and effectively rehabilitate soils in fire-effected ecosystems.