Leveraging microbe-microbe interactions in natural and engineered systems to improve human health

There are exceptional opportunities to better understand and manipulate microbial community dynamics in engineered and natural environments to generate water or air of improved quality. We seek to investigate the interactions of viral and bacterial populations in different environmental settings, such as biofilters or point of use filters used for water treatment or surface materials used in the built environment. We are particularly interested in what induces lytic or lysogenic phage cycles and how those viral infection states may alter the microbial community. With knowledge of host-phage dynamics in these systems, future work will focus on identifying and developing engineered strategies to promote beneficial interactions.