When it comes to adapting to their environment, bacteria are among the most capable organisms on the planet. And, NSU biology professor, Dr. Ashley N. Haines, is conducting research to find out just why the little boogers are so resilient. The National Science Foundation recently announced that Dr. Haines is the recipient of a $198,000 grant for support of a project that examines the how and why of bacteria’s ability to adapt to their environment. “From niches in or on the human or animal hosts, to the depth of the ocean . . . bacteria have adapted to them all,” said Dr. Haines. She further explains that the bacteria can do this by mutating or acquiring new genes. “Understanding how bacterium adapts to these very different hosts can help us to understand how they emerge in new hosts, as well as provide clues for controlling their growth in a variety of environments.” The grant funds will be used for new equipment, lab supplies, year-long stipends for two students, sample analysis, etc.