My research has focused on the establishment and maintenance of symbiotic associations, such as microbial mats. Microbial mats, a type of biofilm, are complex community structures that contain a diverse array of microbes and are under constant exposure to environmental stresses.

This website presents current research and educational activities associated with understanding these complex communities with the goal of making this knowledge accessible to all.


The Science & Stromatolite Camp
The overall goal of this summer science camp was to work with local Bahamian educators to promote scientific literacy and awareness in the Exuma Cays, Bahamas. We wanted to expose students to the fundamentals of the scientific method and have them start to design and complete their own experiments.

For more information on the design and assessments of student learning at the camp please read: Foster, J.S. and N. Shiel-Rolle (2011) Building scientific literacy through summer science camps: a strategy for design, implementation and assessment.
Science Education International 22:85-98. Download paper



Reusable Learning Objects in
Microbial Diversity
To help build an understanding of the basic concepts associated with the microbial world this series of podcasts provides an increasingly more in-depth analysis of the current approaches and sequencing techniques associated with the analysis of complex microbial communities.
Reusable Learning Objects page
Foster, JS, CLM Khodadad, SR Ahrendt and ML Parrish (2013) Impact of simulated microgravity on the normal developmental time line of an animal-bacteria symbiosis. Scientific Reports 3:1340. Download paper



May & July, 2011
We conducted two experiments on the last two space shuttle missions; STS-134 on Endeavour and STS-135 on Atlantis. We examined the effects of microgravity on the normal developmental time line of the symbiosis between the bobtail squid Euprymna scolopes and the luminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri. For more information click here.



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