Steve is a biology major from Williamsburg, Va., and is thrilled to be a part of the RARE team, specifically with the microbial research team. "My focus is seeing how microbes in the environment interact with one another in ways that are positive (mutualism) and negative (competition)," he says.
Steve came to Radford University after attending another institution that was not the perfect fit. "My brother, who is now an alumnus, talked me into coming here," recalls Steve. "Radford really gave me an opportunity to really find what I wanted to do, but it hasn’t always been easy. My college experience as a whole has been a bit of a roller coaster but thanks to the good people here at Radford, especially Dr. Davis and Dr. Caughron, I’m on the upswing and I couldn’t be happier. I can’t wait for the Amazon!"
Microbial life is very diverse and is found in just about all environments. Some species are incredibly adaptable, being able to live in heavily polluted environments such as water sources found in urban environments. It may seem that microbes that can survive in these harsh urban environments would be able to out-compete microbes from a pristine, jungle environment. However, that may not be the case. The purpose of this study is to determine how microbes from different ecological profiles interact with each other, and to see if one profile is dominant to another. To test this it will be necessary to grow up samples gathered from the urban environment and then streak them with samples collected from the jungle environment, and vice-versa.