Research Areas

Virulence factors of Aeromonas hydrophila. This bacterium causes various diseases in animals including highly destructive, soft tissue infections. In humans, the disease can manifest as a localized cellulitis or a disseminated "flesh-eating" condition. In fish, amphibians and reptiles the disease can occur as localized lesions or a blood-borne septicemia. Current projects in this area focus on the tissue-degrading enzymes produced by this bacterium, development of a PCR diagnostic test to detect this bacterium in water and clinical samples and development of a suitable animal model to study bacterium: host dynamics.

Water Quality Analysis: Water suitable for human consumption and recreation, as well as ecosystem sustainability require testing methods that can indicate when there are problems and where the problems may originate. Microbial Source Tracking is the use of fecal-associated microbes, primarily bacteria, to determine the presence of potential harmful microbes in water, the level of Public Health risk for those using the water and the potential source of the waste. Current projects in this area focus on the use of specific bacteria as indicators of pollution sources and the use of diagnostic tests to detect the levels of these microbes.

Students interested in working on a research project within one of my areas should have a strong foundation in microbiology, and genetics or cell biology. Undergraduate students can receive course credit for research via BIOL 3110 (Directed Methods) or BIOL 4400 (Directed Studies). Graduate students working on thesis research can receive course credit via BIOL 7990 (Research for Master'sThesis).