The Entrepreneurship Hatchery  ☰ 

Roberta Fulthorpe

Professor and Graduate Chair at Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences - University of Toronto Scarborough

The primary focus of Roberta's research is on the evolution of bacterial genes for the catabolism of chlorinated organic compounds. She is particularly interested in the mechanisms of genetic exchange that allow the construction of catabolic pathways, and the sharing of degradative capabilities by divergent species. She also has a keen interest in the bio-geography of bacteria, something that was previously difficult to study. With the advent of molecular tools we are better able to study the geographic distributions of bacterial strains and their genes, and to ask questions about the links between bacteria and the ecosystems they function in. This has become more important now that chlorinated organic compounds have been proven to be more"natural" than we previously thought, and her research has demonstrated the abundance of chlorinated organic degrading bacteria in pristine ecosystems.