Dr. Rachel Simister’s research interests span the broad field of microbial interactions and ecology, incorporating varied disciplines such as molecular biology, phylogenetics, biogeochemistry and biotechnology. Her work is highly interdisciplinary, centring on the analysis of microbial communities from a wide variety of environments and putting these comparisons in a temporal and spatial context. Her research focuses on both free-living and host-associated bacteria and archaeal communities, as well as eukaryotic microbial communities. Her ultimate goal is to understand how microbes interact with their environment and in particular, how biogeochemical variables shape community structure and function. Her research at UBC in the Crowe laboratory has focused on efforts to use and recover the metabolic potential of environmental microbial communities for application to problems in mineral and petroleum resource exploration, recovery, and remediation. Most recently she has focused on assessing and developing a robust genomic method of through-cover mineral exploration.