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Microbial dynamics from mauka to makai: 

integrating molecular biology, bioenergetics, geochemistry and culture

We study MICROORGANISMS - the smallest forms of life that live on land and in water. 


We study who they are, how many of them there are, what they eat, what factors control them and how they impact their ecosystem.


By studying and understanding environmental microbial communities, we can better evaluate overall ecosystem health and inform current monitoring, restoration, cultivation, and management of Hawaiian ahupuaʻa resources to sustainably support our people and ʻāina.

Our research integrates biology, geochemistry, and ʻike kupuna (traditional knowledge) to address novel hypothesis and showcase connections between contemporary science and indigenous science, perpetuating place-based knowledge and ecological-based studies to foster values and concepts of traditional management.




















Our work is focused on environmentally tractable ecosystems in Hawai’i and the deep ocean.


The direction and scope of our work is driven by the input and needs of ‘āina-based community organizations and stakeholders. 

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Research Interests:

Environmental drivers of microbial dynamics

Microbial impact on biogeochemical cycles

Relationships between thermodynamic and kinetic metabolic processes

Study Sites:
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