Paul J. Weimer
Associate Professor of Bacteriology
Our research involves the microbiology of fiber digestion by the anaerobic microflora of the rumen. The rumen is an ideal ecosystem for studying metabolic interactions owing to the wide physiological and biochemical diversity of its many microbial species. Our group is interested in elucidating strategies for cellulosic biomass conversion in the rumen as a model system for understanding "consolidated bioprocessing" (CBP) schemes that employ anaerobic bacteria to carry out all steps of the conversion (cellulase synthesis, microbial cell growth and end product formation) in the same bioreactor; CBP is the lead candidate platform for second-generation production of fuels and chemicals from cellulosic biomass. In addition, we are determining bacterial community composition and dynamics in cows under different feeding and management conditions, with the goal of establishing more favorable species mixtures to improve animal production.