About the Lab

Our research centers on understanding the ultraviolet stress response of cyanobacteria. In particular, we are interested in the genetics and regulation of the cyanobacterial sunscreen scytonemin. Using deletion mutants and gene expression studies we aim to identify and characterize regulators of sunscreen biosynthesis in the model cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme. We are currently studying a specific response regulator associated with scytonemin production using a deletion mutant and gene expression analyses. Transcriptomic studies are also being done to address the overall stress response associated with a variety of environmental factors in cyanobacteria.

This past year we began using next-generation sequencing technologies to survey the biological soil crusts at the Indiana Dunes State Park. Using similar techniques, we are also collaborating with Dr. Frank Paladino to examine the microbiome of sea turtles.