Bringing geochemistry and microbiology together quantitatively

A large part of the field and lab work we are engaged in concerns very detailed and extensive efforts to describe the geochemical environments in which we find certain microorganisms. Some of the principle questions which this may address are:

Dr. Donna Rizzo, at UVM's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, is an expert in the design and application of Artificial Neural Networks, a modeling technique that seeks to identify patterns of change and provides weighting to the factors which most strongly affect changes between datasets (see schematic figure below). This thinking is of great potential in addressing the relationship between geochmical environments and microbial ecology because we will have a method to quantitatively assess the degree to which organisms respond to perturbations in their environment and how single or communities of microorganisms change and maintain theor own geochemical environments while maintaining the redox gradients necessary for metabolic function.