My research interest is in understanding the ecology of soil microbial communities and the practical applications this information will have for global sustainability. In particular I am interested in the contribution that soil microbial communities can make to the plant-based bioremediation of heavy metal pollution and to sustainable agricultural practices. I collaborate with soil scientists, community ecologists and bioinformaticians and utilize community-based approaches including community finger-printing and next-generation sequencing technologies to understand the function of soil microbial communities in a variety of soil conditions. Ultimately I am interested in understanding how soil microbial communities promote plant growth and what drives them to do so. With this information we can utilize soil microbial communities to improve both agriculture and bioremediation.