- Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biology, Indiana University, 2012-2013
- Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, 2011-2012
- Ph.D., Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011
- M.S., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006
- B.S., Honors Biology and Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003
Research in the Peralta Lab examines how climate and human-induced environmental changes influence microbial community structure and functions associated with regulating air quality, water quality, and human, animal, and plant health. We use a combination of molecular- and culture-based approaches to characterize microbial communities and field- and lab-based methods to assess microbial structure-function relationships. We use interdisciplinary approaches to study microbial-climate change feedbacks in coupled human and natural systems. Ongoing projects include:
Microbial Responses to Environmental Gradients: We study the response of microbial community structure and function across long-term nutrient gradients in terrestrial and aquatic systems. At coastal field sites, we also examine interaction of nutrient, carbon, and salinity gradients on microbial community structure and function. We use a combination of field observations, field and lab experiments, and modeling approaches to examine how microbial communities shift in composition and function (e.g., greenhouse gas production, nitrate removal, decomposition) under current and projected environmental stressors (e.g., drought, flooding, salinity).
‘Micro’managing Ecosystem Benefits in Human-Dominated Landscapes: We investigate how land use management influences microbial community structure and ecosystem functions. We use a combination of field, lab, and modeling approaches to examine how human and climate-induced environmental changes influence microbially controlled ecosystem services (e.g., water quality enhancement, carbon storage) and dis-services (e.g., water quality impairment, greenhouse gas production).