Headshot of Ranjani Murali

Dr. Ranjani Murali

Assistant Professor of Microbial Environmental Genomics

Life Sciences


Dr. Murali's research focuses on microbial respiratory pathways: their importance for microbial adaptation to diverse environments and their impact on global biogeochemical cycling. In the past, her and her colleagues have used their understanding of the molecular evolution of respiratory proteins to discover novel pathways in denitrification and aerobic respiration. She aims to uncover patterns in microbial diversity using metagenomic data from diverse environments, such as marine ecosystems and hot springs, to develop testable biochemical hypotheses. One of the driving questions in her research is understanding how microbial metabolism and physiology changed irrevocably with the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere. They sample in the field to put biogeochemical cycling into environmental context; perform physiological characterization of environmental samples and isolated microorganisms that perform critical roles in nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur cycling; and perform bioinformatics analyses to further understand the evolution of metabolic pathways.


Bioenergetics; Microbial Respiration; Molecular Evolution; Microbial Biochemistry; Microbial Physiology; Geomicrobiology