Chris Greening

Research Group

Research Assistants

  • Tent Jirapanjawat
  • Blair Ney

PhD Students

  • Helena (Ya-Jou) Chen
  • Sean Bay
  • Zahra Islam
  • Paul Cordero
  • Sarah Reeve (co-supervised with Professor Melodie McGeoch)

Research Overview

The Integrative Microbiology Lab explores how bacteria persist under adverse environmental conditions. Bacteria are able to dominate practically all ecosystems due to their unprecedented ability to enter dormant states that resist environmental change. The lab is interested in understanding the metabolic processes that enable aerobic bacteria to remain energised and survive stress in these dormant states. Towards this goal, they have identified multiple novel mechanisms through which aerobic bacteria survive starvation, hypoxia, and oxidative stress. The lab employs a wide range of techniques to explore biological processes from enzymes to ecosystems, including bacterial culturing, genetic dissection, protein biochemistry, and environmental surveys.

Chris’ research is centred on two main themes. His environmental research is exploring the physiological and ecological significance of microbial metabolism of reduced gases, i.e. hydrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide. This research has shown that soil bacteria can enhance their long-term survival by scavenging trace gases from the atmosphere. He is exploring the significance of trace gas scavenging and other hydrogen-dependent processes in relation to microbial community structure and greenhouse gas cycling. His medical research is centred on identifying new drug targets for the treatment of tuberculosis, which continues to cause 1.5 million deaths per year. Through this research, he has shown that multiple hypothetical proteins upregulated by mycobacteria during stress-inducing conditions are critical for maintaining redox and ion homeostasis.

Relevant research areas:

  • Ecology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Global Change & Conservation
  • Disease Control & Genetics