- Microbial ecology & biogeochemistry
- Microbial community structure & dynamics
- Applied microbiology
Mark?s research elucidates the structure of anaerobic, microbial communities sampled from municipal services in relation to the observed biogeochemistry characteristic of the service provided (e.g. solid waste stabilization in landfills). An additional aim serves to provide practical suggestions to be introduced to site-specific municipal operations to favor biogas capture for waste-to-energy operations, or to create a secondary feedstock (e.g. bacterial biomass) from the collected biogas, amongst other microorganism-mediated services (e.g. nitrogen removal). Data collected infers that exogenous hydrogen (H2) derived from zero valent metal corrosion can stimulate methane (CH4) production in municipal solid waste (MSW) microcosms/bioreactors and alter predominant methanogenic pathways. Additional efforts to characterize potential changes in microbial diversity are ongoing. Mark has earned (2) poster presentation awards from local meetings in addition to a scholarship from the Solid Waste Association of North America to continue his work in enhancing biomethanation of experimental solid waste streams and characterizing arid MSW landfill microbial communities.
Mark is co-advised by Dr. Hinsby Cadillo-Quiroz and Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown and is a member of both the Biodesign Swette Center for Biotechnology and Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics. Mark has served as a teaching assistant for introductory microbiology and biology labs at Arizona State University (ASU) in addition to acting as a mentor to high school students, undergraduate students, and a local high school teacher. Mark has also served as an active member of the Microbiology Graduate Student Association, select seminar organizational committees, and departmental faculty searches during his doctoral studies at ASU.
Mark received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California Merced. His prior research includes collecting CH4 production and consumption data in high elevation lakes in Yosemite National Park.