Christopher Francis's research interests center on the molecular, biochemical, and ecological aspects of the microbial geochemical cycling of nitrogen and metals in the environment.   He is particularly interested in determining the key organisms, functional genes, and molecular mechanisms underlying these biogeochemical processes through both laboratory and field studies.  Field sites include the permanently ice-covered Lake Bonney in Antarctica, Chesapeake Bay, the coastal Arabian Sea, Elkhorn Slough, San Francisco Bay, and Huntington Beach, CA (w/ Ali Boehm); as well as Bahia del Tobari, Mexico (w/ Pam Matson).