About Me

About me:

Hello, I’m a post-doctoral fellow currently working in the lab of Dr. Joerg Graf at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

MCN, PhDMy general research interests cover the realms of microbial ecology, microbial symbioses, NGS sequencing, bioinformatics, and statistical analyses. An increasing focus of mine has been on the integration of multi-omic datasets for the analysis of complex microbial systems as well as an exploration of the means and methods to utilize and exploit current (e.g. Illumina and PacBio) and forthcoming (e.g. the Oxford Nanopore MinION) sequencing technologies.

My current research focuses on the anaerobic bacteria residing within the digestive tracts of leeches and termites with the goals of characterizing their interactions with other bacteria and their host organisms. Many of these bacteria represent novel taxa and one of my aims is to characterize and name them along with complete genome sequencing so they are available as public resources and datasets. As part of my genome sequencing efforts, I actively pursue new technologies and bioinformatic analyses with a focus on comparative genomics of related taxa and integrative analysis of meta-communities. Along with genome analyses, a subset of my research projects include transcriptomics and metabolomics in order to form integrated pictures of host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions.

My dissertation research covered the analysis of the microbial communities present and active in anaerobic digestion systems that were designed to treat food processing wastes or distillery wastes with an emphasis on the production and capture of methane for use as a recaptured energy source. Most of my analyses utilized clone-library or NGS based 16S sequencing combined with bioinformatic analysis to determine community composition and dynamics.

In addition to my own research, I also have and currently still collaborate with and lend my expertise to a number of different research groups working on various projects including development of the infant microbiome, primate microbiomes, and more. I love discussing research and exploring new collaborations so please feel free to contact me if interested.