My research focusses on the microbial ecology and geobiological interactions within extreme ecosystems with the aim of underpinning conservation efforts, providing for industrial applications, and to understand the ecosystem services provided by these microbial communities. Much of my fieldwork is carried out in geothermal ecosystems in the central north island of New Zealand known as the Taupo Volcanic Zone.
I investigate the taxonomic, genomic and functional diversity of extremophile communities using cross-disciplinary approaches.
These include the cultivation and characterisation of novel microbial
strains (I have described first representatives of a new phylum, and a class, as well several genera and species), molecular community and
geochemical surveys (e.g. the 1000 Springs Project: http://1000Springs.org.nz), and the
genomic and physiological analyses of isolates and consortium (particularly
methanotrophs and atmospheric trace gas scavengers) to understand growth and survival mechanisms within these challenging environments
The themes of this research have both strong conservation and industrial foci.
- Buessecker S., Palmer M., Lai D., Dimapilis J., Mayali X., Mosier D., Jiao JY., Colman DR., Keller LM. and St. John E. (2022) An essential role for tungsten in the ecology and evolution of a previously uncultivated lineage of anaerobic, thermophilic Archaea. Nature Communications 13(1) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-31452-8.
- Noell SE., Baptista MS., Smith E., McDonald IR., Lee CK., Stott MB., Amend JP. and Cary SC. (2022) Unique Geothermal Chemistry Shapes Microbial Communities on Mt. Erebus, Antarctica. Frontiers in Microbiology 13 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2022.836943.
- Carere CR., Hards K., Wigley K., Carman L., Houghton KM., Cook GM. and Stott MB. (2021) Growth on Formic Acid Is Dependent on Intracellular pH Homeostasis for the Thermoacidophilic Methanotroph Methylacidiphilum sp. RTK17.1. Frontiers in Microbiology 12 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.651744.
- Colman DR., Lindsay MR., Harnish A., Bilbrey EM., Amenabar MJ., Selensky MJ., Fecteau KM., Debes RV., Stott MB. and Shock EL. (2021) Seasonal hydrologic and geologic forcing drive hot spring geochemistry and microbial biodiversity. Environmental Microbiology 23(7): 4034-4053. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.15617.
- Murray AE., Freudenstein J., Gribaldo S., Hatzenpichler R., Hugenholtz P., Kämpfer P., Konstantinidis KT., Lane CE., Papke RT. and Parks DH. (2021) Author Correction: Roadmap for naming uncultivated Archaea and Bacteria (Nature Microbiology, (2020), 5, 8, (987-994), 10.1038/s41564-020-0733-x). Nature Microbiology 6(1): 136. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41564-020-00827-2.