B.Sc. Biology, Virginia Tech
M.Sc. Microbiology, Virginia Tech
Ph.D. Microbiology, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Postdoctoral studies, Yale University
Bacterial behavior and signaling during host interactions
My laboratory studies bacterial behaviors that drive interactions with animal and plant hosts. We are investigating how flagellar motility enables intestinal pathogens such as, Vibrio cholerae, Salmonella enterica, and Campylobacter jejuni to penetrate the mucus layer during infection. We are also investigating how soil bacteria navigate complex chemical gradients and physical obstacles to find plant roots. Finally, we are characterizing the evolutionary tradeoffs that shape the diversity of motile behavior, cell signaling, and cell morphology in bacteria in different environments. We take a systems biology approach that combines genetics, cell tracking, quantitative microscopy, microfluidics, and mathematical modeling, to understand the rules underlying the emergence of complex behaviors from molecular interactions.