Paul Carini
Assistant Professor of Microbial Ecology
Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science
University of Arizona

Former positions:
CIRES Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow. Advisor: Dr. Noah Fierer
Postdoctoral Researcher. Advisor: Dr. Alyson Santoro
Ph. D. Advisor: Dr. Stephen Giovannoni
M. Sc. Advisor: Dr. Charles Wimpee
Undergraduate research. Advisor: Dr. Mary Lynne Collins

Graduate Students 

Amanda Howe
Environmental Science graduate student at the University of Arizona


Senior Personnel 

Dr. H. James (Jim) Tripp
Laboratory Director
Google Scholar

My scientific career began in high school with a summer job as lab technician at Roswell Park Cancer Research Institute and an NSF scholarship to study oceanography under the auspices of the University of Rhode Island and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from Cornell University augmenting my biology coursework with courses in earth and planetary sciences, including Introduction to Astronomy from Carl Sagan. My love for computers, discovered while I was taking graduate work in Remote Sensing at the University of Wisconsin, prompted me to launch a 20 year career as a computer systems analyst for health care insurers and providers, and underwrote my returning to academia at age 47. At 52, I earned a PhD in the lab of Stephen Giovannoni, authoring and co-authoring papers in Nature and Science on the subject of bringing oligotrophs into culture by reconstructing physiology from genomics. I wrote similar high profile papers while doing postdoctoral work in the lab of Jonathan Zehr, on an unculturable nitrogen fixer that was thought to be free living, but was in fact a symbiont, as suggested by its closed genome, obtained from flow sorted cells. As a researcher at DOE’s Joint Genome Institute, working with Natalia Ivanova in Nikos Kyrpides’ Super Prokaryote Program, I assisted in the writing of a Science paper on the discovery of a phage that clearly made use of two different genetic codes in the same genome. Here, I am applying this lifetime of skills to developing high-throughput technologies for tackling the very difficult, but sorely needed task, of establishing a culture collection of soil bacteria currently deemed to be “unculturable.” Cultured strains provide much needed context for the accurate interpretation of the massive, and still growing, mountain of environmental sequences that with this context will reveal deeper insight into microbial ecology, and provide advances in biotechnology and human health.

Undergraduate Students 

Jasper Bloodsworth
Microbiology undergraduate at the University of Arizona

Brenna Bourque
Environmental Science undergraduate at the University of Arizona

Joy Custer
Environmental Science undergraduate at the University of Arizona

Bridget Taylor
Environmental Science undergraduate at the University of Arizona

Catherine Waters
Biochemistry Major at the University of Arizona

Former Advisees

Skyler Anderson
Environmental Science graduate from the University of Arizona.

Ryan Yamauchi
Microbiology Major at the University of Arizona.

Tesla Newton and Sarah Danekind
Tesla and Sarah were seniors at Monarch High School in Louisville, Colorado. Their research for a science research seminar course in 2016/17 focuses on how different soil microbes respond to laboratory stresses.

Caihong Vanderburgh
Caihong co-headed high throughput cultivation efforts of soil microbes.

Alix Knight
Alix worked on cultivating methylotrophs from different soil horizons.

Noah Last
Noah’s research as an REU student in the summer of 2016 was centered around cultivating microbes from local dust samples and quantifying and identifying spore forming taxa present.

Robin Hacker-Cary
Robin co-headed high throughput cultivation efforts of soil microbes.

Patrick Marsden
Funded by NSF, Pat helped experimentally optimize methodology to discriminate live cells from dead in soil (2015-2016).

Emily O. Campbell
Emily contributed  to the understanding of vitamin and phosphate metabolism in SAR11 marine bacteria (2010-2013).  Funding for the experiments she conducted on SAR11’s phosphate metabolism came from a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) research award. 

Sarah Brown
Sarah was funded by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) research award in 2012 to research the polyphasic taxonomy of SAR11 marine bacteria. 

Mikel Clement
Mikel was funded by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) research award in 2008 to cultivate marine bacteria from northeast Pacific Ocean Waters using high-throughput cultivation techniques.