My name is Scott McCain, I’m a postdoctoral associate with Dr. Gene-Wei Li at MIT in the Department of Biology. I’m studying bacteria using genetic and genomic approaches. I’m particularly interested in using bacteria as model systems to study gene expression and resource allocation.

I am broadly interested in what microbes are doing and why. To date, I’ve mostly studied photosynthetic, surface-dwelling marine microbes. For my PhD, I used a combination of in situ observations (metaproteomics and metatranscriptomics), and mathematical modelling, to explore how microbes behave. My PhD was been centered on understanding how trace metals like iron and manganese influence microbial proteomes, and in turn, impact biogeochemical processes in the ocean.

A lot of my work has used mass spectrometry, but I’ve found using published datasets to be very fruitful (this paper of ours was entirely conducted on data from >10 previously published papers!). I also spend a considerable amount of time studying bias in observations, with a strong focus on metaproteomic observations.

I have diverse interests, and have also done some consulting work in the cannabis industry. I specifically worked on science communication challenges, translating research on cannabidiol efficacy, and assessing bioavailability of natural products.

I did my undergraduate at Western University, and worked with Dr. Charlie Trick on harmful algal blooms and bio-optics. I then moved to Halifax to work with Dr. Heike Lotze studying historical marine ecology and fisheries. I had a brief stint with Dr. Chris Taggart in the Oceanography Department at Dalhousie as a research assistant, and then completed a PhD with Dr. Erin Bertrand at Dalhousie University in the Department of Biology.