Robert began working in molecular biology during his undergraduate honours thesis at The Ohio State University, where he worked with engineering species of the Clostridium genus for improved biofuel production under the guidance of Prof Shang-Tian Yang and Dr Mingrui Yu. He then worked as a fermentation process engineer at Green Biologics, developing advanced biofuel and biochemical fermentation systems.

Drawn in part by the warmer climate and sub-par lagers, Robert moved to Brisbane, Australia to undertake a PhD at UQ’s Advanced Water Management Centre in 2012, with guidance from Prof Damien Batstone, Dr Bernardino Virdis, and Dr Daniel Puyol. Robert was awarded a Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowship in Sustainability to focus his PhD on describing the metabolic switching mechanisms of biochemical production in mixed culture fermentation systems through protein expression analysis, taxonomic description, and product analysis.

Despite the continual harassment over his US mid-western accent, Robert continues to reside in Australia, and is now a postdoctoral research fellow working with Prof Gene Tyson, diving deeper into molecular descriptions of mixed culture systems, this time with a focus on greenhouse gas release from thawing permafrost.

Qualifications: 
2010, BSc with Distinction in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Ohio State University
2017, PhD in Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland

Thawing permafrost - dissecting methane flux at the leading edge of global change

Microbial communities in the northern permafrost wetlands are central to understanding current and future global carbon cycling.

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