Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology
As an investigator within the Environmental Atlas of ENIGMA, a significant portion of Peter’s research has focused on the identification and characterization of cell membrane-based mechanisms utilized in bacterial stress response, and the formation and maintenance of microbial communities. He brings to the program background in biophysics, protein biochemistry, and structural biology – with particular emphasis on the study of membrane proteins. He continues to use image-based approaches (e.g. transmission and scanning electron microscopies (TEM, SEM), X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT)) to characterize microbial populations in ORR-FRC groundwater and lab isolates, in sediment-associated states including complex biofilms, and in the characterization of geophysical sediment parameters. Additional efforts involve investigations into the molecular organization of biofilm assemblies using isolated model system proteins.
Through these efforts, where anticipated products will include image-based surveys of field microbe populations, an atlas of lab isolates, analysis of sediment structural parameters such as porosity and particle size distribution, and structural details of novel ultra-small cells, we expect to facilitate a molecular-level understanding of mechanisms utilized by these microbial populations to survive in the range of environmental conditions present at the ORR-FRC.