As an instructor I am interested in using active learning techniques to engage students in material. In my genetics and microbiology courses I intersperse lecture with in class problems and activities, and in some cases go “lecture free” during problem solving workshops.
My research background is in microbial genetics with a particular interest in microbial development. As a graduate student I studied regulatory networks that control the formation of resistant spores by Bacillus subtilis. As a postdoctoral fellow and then in my own lab, I worked on the formation of a special cell type called a bacteroid during the symbiotic interaction between Rhizobium bacteria and plants of the legume family. This cell type is capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, which is provided as a nitrogen source to the plant in return for nutrients.