Mark Martin conducts research in the area of microbiology, including the relatively understudied area of molecular genetics and ecology of bacterial predators, and how such organisms modify population structure within microbial communities. He also has interests in microbial evolution, unusual microbes, microbial ecology, and symbioses. Martin has been studying a gene from the fast-swimming bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, which pursues, attacks, and invades other bacteria. Working with his students his long-term research interests include investigating the genetic and biochemical mechanisms controlling predation by prokaryotic organisms; using newly available genomic data from Bdellovibrio species to investigate the evolution of this predation; and investigating how predatory prokaryotes impact bacterial populations in nature and the laboratory. Martin writes the American Society for Microbiology-sponsored blog Small Things Considered and has lectured and created photo stories on topics including the microbiology of water bottles and microbial art. He has personal interests also in metagenomics, bioinformatics, and science policy. Martin teaches courses in the areas of Microbiology, Unity of Life, and Symbioses and Parasitism.
B.A., University of California-Los Angeles, 1980; Ph.D., Stanford University, 1986