ESP Biography

SARAH PREHEIM, Postdoc at MIT studying bacterial communities

Major: Civil and Environmental Engineer

College/Employer: Postdoc at MIT

Year of Graduation: Not available.

Picture of Sarah Preheim

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1997 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. I worked in the Department of Clinical Immunology at Johns Hopkins University, at the Chiang Mai University, Dept Biochemistry in Thailand, and at the Bay Paul Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. I received my Ph. D. in Biological Oceanography from a joint program with MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Feb. 2010 studying the ecology of bacteria in the coastal ocean. I currently work as a postdoctoral associate at MIT in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering studying the diversity of bacteria from human and environmental samples.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S5659: Ecology of Bacteria in HSSP Spring 2012 (Feb. 18, 2012)
This is an ecology class from the perspective of bacteria. Imagine being microscopic, floating in the open ocean or growing in the stomach of a cow. These tiny creatures will help us understand ecological principles. We will investigate bacteria in their natural environment (i.e. just about everywhere!) and seek to understand why different bacteria live where they do. We will also learn about some of the amazing ways bacteria affect everything from your health to the global climate. Ecological principles will come to life in simple bacteria communities on petri dishes and in cultures. Additionally, we will discuss some of the technology that enable the study of bacteria in the environment.

S3538: Ecology (of microorganisms) in HSSP Summer 2010 (Jul. 11, 2010 - Jul. 11, 2011)
In this class we will review principles of ecology using microorganisms as our "model" system. Microorganisms are too small to be seen with the naked eye, but they are a vital part of our ecosystem. We will discuss why it is important to study the ecology of microorganisms, examine their competitive, symbiotic and antagonistic interactions, survival and growth in exotic habitats, evolution and speciation, and technologies for sensing microbes in the environment. Each class will begin with an outline of basic ecological principles, how these may or may not apply to microorganisms, and elaborate on these principles using examples from microbial ecology.