Microbial physiology with a focus on Bacillus subtilis. We study physiological and genetic responses elicited by cell envelope stress (e.g. antibiotics), oxidative stress, and metal ion limitation and excess.
Use Agrobacterium tumefaciens as a model to study how cells detect other cells; this plant pathogen detects a variety of chemical signal molecules released from host plant cells and also uses a type of bacterial pheromone called an autoinducer to estimate its population densities.
Our laboratory studies microorganisms, particularly anaerobes, which carry out chemical transformations. Present areas of interest include physiology and molecular biology of nitrogen fixation in methanogenic archaea and ecology and physiology of microbial reductive dechlorination of toxic chemicals.