We conduct research in two primary areas. First, we conduct research on the persistence of fecal indicators.Such indicators, such as enterococci and Bacteriodales, are used because they are abundant in the intestine of animals and are believed to be animal host-specific.In the past few years, scientists increasingly think that these microbes are able to survive and perhaps even grow in the natural environment. If true, it would call into question their reliability as indicators of recent sewage spills. We are conducting research to better understand their ability to persist in the environment.
Second, we conduct research to develop effective PCR-based methods to determine whether enteric pathogens are present in environmental waters and shellfish. Currently, we are focusing on Norovirus.