Associate Professor - Aquatic Microbial Ecology
I am an Associate Professor at the University of Montana and work as a resident scientist at the Flathead Lake Biological Station on the shores of Flathead Lake. My research interests focus on the biogeochemistry and ecology of microorganisms in aquatic environments. Much of my work to date has focused on ocean ecosystems, but more recently I’ve become interested in microbial ecology in lakes and streams. Members of my lab group work on diverse projects that typically couple molecular and biogeochemical methodological approaches to gain insights into the distributions and metabolic activities of microorganisms controlling specific ecosystem processes. For example, for the past 10 years we have worked on quantifying the importance of nitrogen fixation to open ocean nutrient budgets and examining how the ecology of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms shapes nitrogen cycling in aquatic systems. I have long-standing interests in examining how ecosystems respond to climate-driven changes. I am a big proponent of the power of sustained time-series observations in helping to understanding ecological and biogeochemical change. I recently served as the lead principal investigator of the Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) program (2009-2016), and I am currently an investigator in the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE).