Department of Biology

B.Sc. (Hons.) St. Francis Xavier University M.Sc. Queen’s University Ph.D. The University of Adelaide Postdoc, Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU Munich) Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Sai

I study plants and their interactions with beneficial microbes. Currently, I research the symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria (rhizobia). Rhizobia gain entry into legume roots and subsequently convert atmospheric nitrogen gas into ammonia (nitrogen fixation). Ammonia is then released to the plant, serving as an important source of nitrogen. In return, the plant provides the necessary nutrients to support rhizobial metabolism. In contrast to nitrogen fertilizer production using fossil fuels, nitrogen fixation is a natural process and a key component of sustainable agriculture. I am interested in identifying genetic components which contribute to enhanced symbiotic performance. The ultimate goal of this research is to improve the productivity of the symbiosis in order to increase the nutritive value of legumes.