Microbial dynamics from mauka to makai: 

integrating molecular biology, bioenergetics, geochemistry and culture

     The fundamental research goals of this lab are to identify environmental drivers of microbial dynamics and to characterize the impact of microorganisms on biogeochemical cycling in mineral-hosted ecosystems from mountain ridges to mid-ocean ridges. We focus on understanding the specific biogeochemical redox reactions that occur in these ecosystems, the kinetics of these processes, the taxonomy and physiology of the organisms responsible, and the extent to which they influence the ecosystem as a whole. This work is focused on environmentally tractable ecosystems in Hawai’i and the deep ocean. The direction and scope of work is driven by the input and needs of ‘āina-based community organizations and stakeholders. Understanding the structure and impact of microbes in native ecosystems will help to develop a valuable framework to evaluate overall ecosystem health and inform current monitoring, restoration, cultivation, and management of Hawaiian ahupuaʻa resources. By better understanding the ecological implications of microbial processes, the connections between the natural and cultural histories and management practices of ahupuaʻa ecosystems, this research program is poised to expand our understanding of ahupua‘a structure from microbes to mea‘ai.

Research Overview:
Research Interests:
Study Sites:

Environmental drivers of microbial dynamics

Microbial impact on biogeochemical cycles

Relationships between thermodynamic and kinetic metabolic processes

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