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  • B.S., University of Akron, 1988
  • M.S., University of Akron, 1993
  • Ph.D., Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, 2000
  • Postdoc., the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, 2000-2002
  • Postdoc., Michigan State University, 2002-2006
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular Systematics and Phylogenetics
  • Phycology
  • Eukaryotic Microbiology
  • Toxic Cyanobacteria

Current Research Projects

  • Combining phylogenetic techniques (Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood) with comparative genome (collinearity) data, to study the evolutionary relationships of algae/eukaryotic microbes, with a special focus on the Euglenophyta. My past research has involved the sequencing, annotation and comparisons of the chloroplast genomes of several euglenoids. As the chloroplast of photosynthetic euglenoids was gained by secondary endosymbiosis (ingestion of a green eukaryotic algae) billions of years ago, it offers a direct view into the development of ancient eukaryotic life. Currently, my work is collaborative and involves identification of new species and genera of toxic cyanobacteria using a combination of molecular systematics, light microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy.
  • Software development for molecular (gene, genome, and collinearity) data analysis emphasizing evolutionary relationships. This software called MacGDE (Macintosh Genetic Data Environment) is an integrative program for DNA/RNA and protein management, alignment and phylogenetic analyses. I maintain, support (technical and theoretical) and freely distribute to the research community (
  • Bioinformatic collaborations outside of my main research areas. My efforts here have led to work with colleagues in areas as diverse as viral invasion of grasses, the evolution of wood feeding in bivalves, and the use of wavelets (mathematical signal processing) for DNA assembly, alignment and annotation.

Courses Taught

  • Introductory Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Confocal Microscopy
  • Light Microscopy
  • Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy