I completed my PhD at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. My thesis involved the study of a group of bacteria, known as Bdellovibrio and like Organisms. This group of bacteria are predators of other bacteria and will invade the periplasmic space of potential prey cells, degrade the preys’ cytoplasmic content, grow and produce upwards of 20 or more progeny before bursting out of the dead prey cell and repeat. Afterwards, I completed my first postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Jeremy Burton using Lactobacillus spp. for human health applications. I had various projects. I helped develop an oral probiotic product for the protection against oral candidiasis for a biotech start-up, Stellar Biome. I was also involved in the establishment of a Drosophila melanogaster model of urolithiasis (kidney stones) within the lab, establishment of a continuous-flow chemostat model of the distal colon. We also analysed the use specific Lactobacillus spp. to prevent food poisoning from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, as well as their role in lipid metabolism and male hormone regulation.
Currently, I am a postdoctoral fellow at AgResearch Grasslands Research Centre under the supervision of Dr. Eric Altermann. I am part of the Fermented Foods project with the Food and Bio-Based Products group. My role is to develop new bacterial strains capable of producing fermented products with novel texture and flavour profiles that are specific to New Zealand.