The Sheik lab focuses on discovering the biogeochemical roles novel microorganisms play in the environment. To answer their questions they apply cutting-edge molecular tools to sequence the total DNA and RNA from an environment, methods generally referred to as metagenomics and metatranscriptomics. They specialize in applying advanced assembly and post-assembly binning algorithms to generate Metagenome Assembled Genomes (MAGs). They can then reconstruct the putative physiology of the microorganisms in a mixed community and ultimately microbial interactions within the ecosystem. Currently the group is focused on microbe systems in Lake Superior (water column and sediments), geothermal springs, and the deep subsurface.