Current Research.  Microorganisms are the smallest living things on Earth, yet they influence and define life as we know it.  Recent studies (Kembel et al. 2012, Rintala et al., 2008, Tringe et al., 2008) have shown that the microbiome of built environments is very complex, shaped by the human population that inhabits it, air circulation, building use, design and materials.  Most individuals spend about 90% of their time indoors!  You are constantly assaulted with either permanent or transient microorganisms from the built environment, which interplay with your own microbiome (Kembel et al., 2012). In my lab, we are researching how the human microbiome changes in response to the space it inhabits.  By understanding how the microbiome of the built environment changes spatially (e.g., corridors, lobbies, closed rooms) and temporally (i.e., daily, seasonally, annually), we can begin to understand factors that shape, challenge and maintain the human microbiome.

Current Research Students:  Jessica Albrecht (’15), Dylan Carmichael (’15), Gates Failing (’16), and Taylor Olian (’14)

Other Research Projects: