I received my PhD in soil microbial ecology, linking microbial abundance and function to understand nitrogen cycling in grassland soils, and before that an MSc in Environmental Sustainability and Agriculture, at the University of Hohenheim, Germany. My research career began before that at the Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole, MA, working on inorganic nutrient cycling in both fresh and marine sediment-water interface regions.
The biogeochemical dynamism of boundary regions – sediment/water, soil particles/pore spaces, or estuarine systems, for example – fascinates me. I have sought to characterize, both spatially and temporally, the activities of microbial communities in these boundary regions as they transform nitrogen and carbon to meet their metabolic needs, and in the process provide byproducts which are subsequently utilized by other microbial groups. A virtuous circle!