Carie is a geomicrobiologist whose work during her Ph.D. has included (1) investigating the genetic basis of extracellular electron transfer in Shewanella oneidensis MRI, (2) extremely low-light-adapted photosynthetic green sulfur bacteria as model organisms for understanding adaptation to energy limitation and photosynthesis in extreme radiation environments, (2) stromatolites as biosignatures and paleoenvironmental records in the lacustrine Green River Formation, and (3) deep-UV native fluorescence spectroscopy as a novel tool for assessing the biogenicity of fossil microbialites. Carie specializes in the cultivation and investigation of photosynthetic bacteria and rigging up elegant and functional experimental setups using nothing but duct tape, cardboard, aluminum foil, and a soldering iron.
For a full CV, visit her departmental page: earth.usc.edu/~cfrantz/
Reed Li (Shiue-Lin Li) is a post-doctoral fellow in Ken Nealson’s lab, who acquired his PhD degree from National Cheng Kung University (Tainan City, Taiwan, 2011). His Ph.D. work involves the fundamental studies of microbial fuel cell using Shewanella decolorationis NTOU1 and bilirubin oxidase as biocatalysts on the anode and cathode , which was carried out under the instruction of Professor Sheng-Shung Cheng (Taiwan) and Professor Kenji Kano (Kyoto University, Japan). His research interests include anaerobic hydrogen fermentation and bioelectrochemistry.
Now Reed Li is studying corrosion mechanisms and sediment microbiology by using electrochemical methods.
Water contamination with toxic elements and chemicals pose a significant threat to all forms of living organisms; anthropogenic activities have mobilized these toxic chemicals across the biosphere. In our lab, to address this problem, we have engineered the cathode of the microbial fuel cell (MFC) systems utilizing the catalytic ability of the microorganisms (Shewanella oneidensis MR-1) for bioremediation applications. Primarily, I have been designing systems to remove Cr (VI), Se (IV), and Se (VI); In the MFC cathode, MR-1 converts these soluble and toxic compounds into lesser toxic precipitate, which could be sequestered out of the contaminated systems. Using electrochemical techniques, I have optimized the system for efficient removal of these toxic compounds by understanding the electron transfer kinetics of the biofilm. Additionally, using the cytochrome deletion mutants of MR-1, I have elucidated a possible electron transfer pathway from cathode to the toxic compound of interest; understanding the pathway will help us engineer organisms with enhanced capabilities for removal of these toxic compounds.
Water is the elixir of life. Let us a leave a cleaner and greener planet for the future generations. SCience Fight On!
Bonita is a first year Ph.D. student from the wonderful San Francisco Bay Area (go Bears!). She has a background in microbial ecology and is interested in understanding microbial physiology and discovering novel metabolic pathways. Her project will be focused on exploring the electromicrobiology of natural marine sediment currents.
I'm interested in how bacteria sense and respond to the world. Discovered novel tactic behavior in bacteria (extracellular electron transport mediated energy taxis). Designed and conducted experiments that identified genes that code for proteins important for this new behavior. Conducted computer analysis of cell swimming and reversals of WT and deletion mutant strains, which confirmed that chemotaxis and outer membrane cytochrome genes (ΔSO_1383, ΔSO_2240, and ΔSO_4950) are needed for accumulation of cells around insoluble metal oxides and poised electrodes. Utilized findings from this work to propose a hypothetical model describing a process called congregation. Will soon complete PhD requirements at the University of Southern California (awaiting defense date).