PI: Dr. Annette R. Rowe (Annie)

I fell into my love of the microbial world at a young age. In my youth being the offspring of two physicians, I found myself fascinated with the microbes (mainly viruses and bacteria) that can wreak havoc on our bodies. However, these pathogens really make up a small (though not unimportant) part of the microbial world. And the unseen majority of microbes can often have profound effects, that are essential to our lives and the health of our planet. Combining this realization with discovering a real love for molecular biology and biochemistry, the pursuit of studying microbes and their metabolism became obvious—because that is where all the crazy cool stuff is happening. The diversity of microbes and their corresponding physiologies or metabolisms (things they eat and breath) are numerous, and I’m pretty sure will keep me busy for as long time.

My research history has been very cross-disciplinary, though my focus has always been on the microbial world. I’ve worked in laboratory settings and performed research in Molecular and Cell biology, Ecology and Evolution, Environmental Engineering, Soil Sciences, Marine Ecology, Earth Sciences and most recently Biophysics.


Josh Sackett 

Josh received a Masters for the University of Colorado, Denver, and his PhD from UNLV working with Duane Moser at the Desert Research Institute.  He has working on a variety of microbial ecology projects in bioremediation and deep subsurface microbiology including working with the NASA Astrobiology Institute Life Underground team.

Nitin Kamble 

I’m originally from India where I obtained my masters degree in Microbiology. Following a brief work experience in Vaccine production industry I went to United kingdom to peruse my career in research. I obtained a PhD degree in Molecular Microbiology from the University of Sheffield, U.K.
During my PhD I learned this Electromicrobiology term for the first time. So I immediately joined Dr Rowe’s Electromicrobiology lab. And, now I’m excited about working with Electroactive cool bugs where I will be looking at elucidating their unique metabolisms and eventually hijacking their supernatural electrochemical potential to fix into a high-value added products such as bio-molecules.

Graduate Students:

Leah Trutschel 

Although I love most aspects of biology, microbiology is the top tier for me. I spent time as an undergrad in a lab that studied Archaea and fell in love with extremophiles. My interests are primarily in microbial ecology-how microbes act with one another and their environment. My goal is to understand how some of these organisms co-exist and survive in these exceptional places.

When I’m not working with microorganisms, you can probably find me birding.

Linda Vu

I like playing with hypotheticals: What would extraterrestrial life look like? Would it look like us, with our carbon backbones and nucleotide-based genetic information, or radically different with silicon backbones? How could this theoretical life have originated? And what if our own primordial Earth had started out under slightly different initial conditions? Could life have evolved a different way? To put it concisely, I am interested in the possibility of other forms of life-if they do exist, if they could exist. I am well aware that these are far-fetched questions, but as Dr. Stuart Firestein has said, “The uncertain is the world of possibility.”

Undergraduate Students:

Vageesha Herath

I am a second year undergraduate at the University of Cincinnati majoring in Biochemistry. I am interested in Biology and the chemical outlook that makes the world of Biology function. My research focuses on the genetic aspect of microbiology, which is bacterial transformation.

Alexandra Marquardt 

I am a third year undergrad at UC studying biology. I’ve always had a strong interest in biology for as long as I can remember. Currently, I am studying the anti-viral properties of silver nanoparticles. This has sparked my interest in environmental sciences, learning more and understanding viruses.

Jorge Vinales

I am a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Cincinnati pursuing a BS in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biomedical Studies. My passion for biology started when I asked myself a seemingly very simple question: How do I work? How do animals work? I have since had the opportunity to delve deeper into this question through further education and lately in Dr. Rowe’s lab where I have gained much appreciation for the microscopic world and developed a passion for research. In the future, I will be pursuing an MD-PhD.

Edmund Leach

My research interests are understanding sulfur/electrode oxidation of the Thioclava electrotrophic bacterium. I’ve been utilizing genetic manipulations of bacteria, genome sequencing, and a general inquiry for understanding the basics of (micro)biological life. I’m currently a fourth year at UC, with a major in Biology (and a concentration in Cell & Molecular Biology) and a minor in Chemistry.

Ruchita Solanki

I am a third year Biology Major with Chemistry and Psychology minors. I am interested in microbiology and related subjects like electrochemistry and its effects. 

 Astrobiology, Bioremediation, Ecology in MicrobesElectromicrobiology, Environmental Microbiology, and Geomicrobiology