University of Minnesota
MICaB Graduate Program
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Current Students

Lisa Fazzino

Thesis Advisor: Will Harcombe

Year entered: 2015

Degrees received:
B.S., University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA, 2012

Thesis Research:

Bacteria can interact by exchanging metabolites in complex poly-microbial communities. In the Harcombe lab, we study how metabolic interactions among bacterial species can influence microbial community dynamics and structure. Specifically, I study a microbial community’s response to attack by bacterial viruses, called bacteriophage (phage). I use resource-explicit mathematical models to predict community- and species-level responses to phage attack to ask how species ratios and the evolution of phage resistance are modulated by the metabolic interactions of bacterial community members. Model results are tested by adding E. coli specific T7 phage to our synthetic poly-microbial system composed of Escherichia coli and Salmonella enteric, which have constructed metabolic interactions that can be tuned between cooperation and competition depending on provided carbon sources.