Montana State University
Deputy Director, Environmental Microbiology
Matthew Fields, as the Environmental Component Deputy Director, studies environmental signals that are sensed by cells to mediate control over physiology and modes of growth. Matthew Fields is an associate professor in the Department of Microbiology at Montana State University. His lab is in the Center for Biofilm Engineering, and he is also associated with the Thermal Biology Institute and the Energy Research Institute at Montana State University. He is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the National Center for Genome Resources in Santa Fe, NM. His laboratory uses molecular ecology to study microbial communities associated with different environments in the field that include subsurface sediments, groundwater, coal, and industrial environments. Laboratory work includes sulfate-reducing bacteria, methanogens, and lipid-producing algae, and these types of organisms are important to bioremediation, metal corrosion, and biofuel production, respectively. Ultimately, a driving question is to understand the relationships between structure and function at different scales of biology, and we use a model sulfate-reducing bacterium (Desulfovibrio) to understand ecological and physiological responses. An improved understanding of structure/function relationships will allow predictive modeling and design for a variety of natural and engineered systems. Matthew is the lead on the MicroParticle Mesogenomics Campaign.