Trevor Charles

Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research

I first became interested in microbiome through my interest in plants. What really did it for me was when I learned how Agrobacterium transfers DNA into the plant genome, and engineers that plant to produce food and shelter for it. To this day, I consider this one of the most fascinating examples of interactions between microbes and multicellular organisms, and of course, it gave rise to plant biotechnology. I consider myself a bacterial geneticist and try to address problems using a genetic approach. Our research program has included plant-microbe interactions, functional metagenomics, and most recently the microbiome of agricultural systems, with a focus on controlled environment plant agriculture such as greenhouses and vertical farms. I co-founded a company, Metagenom Bio, to commercializing microbiome solutions to food production and environmental improvement. There is so much we can do to harness the microbiome to feed the world in a more sustainable manner.