Dr. Nies' research interests include optimizing the future capacities of interdependent urban infrastructure systems and the molecular genetic characterization of the structure and function of microbial communities. Dr. Nies?? research group also develops molecular genetic tools to assess the effects of anthropogenic chemicals on microbial communities. These tools can be used to evaluate and monitor the progress of bioremediation projects by quantifying catabolic genes, or to investigate the potential toxic impacts of new chemicals.