Andrew is a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar based in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. His research looks at the trophic linkages between microbes and metazoans in marine habitats and how that impacts ecosystem function, or how animals that eat bacteria can impact how the world works. His research is focused on deep-sea and polar soft-sediment habitats as they both experience long periods of time with no photosynthetic production and create a model system to understand how communities are able persist in food poor environments. In addition these habitats are not only the least known on the planet but they cover 63% of the globe.
Rory is a graduate student in the Microbiology department at Oregon State University. His research focuses on an unusual group of predatory bacteria, Bacteriovorax, that prey exclusively on other gram negative bacteria. These unusual bacteria have a biphasic lifestyle which consist of an “attack-phase” fast free-living, highly motile predators (in 2004 they obtained the Guinness World Record for fast motile bacteria), and “growth-phase” the intercellular non-motile, replicative cells. Bacteriovorax doesn’t replicate in the environment without first killing and burrowing into another bacteria, which consist of a wide range of gram negative bacteria including many known pathogens. While in Antarctica his main research goal is to add a targeted metagenomics approach to the microbial ecology aspects of the Antarctica research project. Rory also plans to sample for previously undetected strains of the unique Bacteriovorax predators.