The spermosphere is the rhizosphere-like environment of enriched carbon and microbial activity that encompasses a germinating seed. The germinating seed and emerging radicle form the foundation of the spermosphere, and offer the first opportunity for rhizosphere inhabiting microbes to begin the process of colonizing an emerging rhizosphere. While visiting the Poole lab in Oct. 2015 I applied the Rhizobium adapted INSeq method I developed during my M.Sc. to try to elucidate genetic fitness determinants for the colonization of the pea spermosphere. I focused on identifying genes involved in in vitro colonization of 72 to 120hr pea radicles, as well as the colonization of pea spermosphere microcosms at 0 to 48hr germination and 48 to 96hr germination.
I am currently working as a research associate between the labs of Dr. Chris Yost and Dr. Andrew Cameron at the University of Regina. I completed my M.Sc. there in the functional genomics of Rhizobium leguminosarum in May of 2015. My work there now consists of microbial community analysis within two bioremediation projects that focus on petroleum and pesticide contamination, using 16s and ITS sequencing. As well, I also work on three molecular epidemiology projects investigating vancomycin resistant Enterococcus, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Mycobacterium avium complex, through collaborations with the Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory and the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region.