Visiting Lecturer of Biology
Dr. Heather Schiller is a Visiting Lecturer of Biology with a background in microbiology. Her PhD dissertation focused on elucidating cell-shape determinants in the haloarchaeon Haloferax volcanii. Her additional projects involved the characterization of H. volcanii biofilm formation and the development of accessible microbiology experiments for high school and undergraduate classrooms. She also obtained a College & University Teaching Certificate and Science Communication Certificate as well as mentored undergraduate research students in the lab during her time in grad school.
PhD, Biology, University of Pennsylvania, 2023
BS, Biology and Neuroscience, History (minor), Brandeis University, 2018
Research Interests / Area of Focus
Microbiology, Archaea, Microscopy, Biofilms, Genetics
Schiller, H., Kouassi, J., Hong, Y., Rados, T., Kwak, J., DiLucido, A., Safer, D., Marchfelder, A., Pfeiffer, F., Bisson-Filho, A., Schulze, S., and Pohlschroder, M. Identification of structural and regulatory cell-shape determinants in Haloferax volcanii. In revision, Nature Communications.
Schulze, S.*, Schiller, H.*, Solomonic, J., Telhan, O., Costa, K., and Pohlschroder, M. 2022. Advanced understanding of prokaryotic biofilm formation using a cost-effective and versatile multi-panel adhesion (mPAD) mount. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 88(4): e02283-21.
Schiller, H., Young, C., Schulze, S., Tripepi, M., and Pohlschroder, M. 2022. A twist to the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion susceptibility test: an accessible laboratory experiment comparing Haloferax volcanii and Escherichia coli antibiotic susceptibility to highlight the unique cell biology of archaea. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 23(1): e00234-21.
Schiller, H., Young, C., Schulze, S., and Pohlschroder, M. Accessible and insightful scientific learning experiences using the microorganism Haloferax volcanii. 531-545. Methods in Molecular Biology: Archaea. Humana New York, NY. 2022. 2522(1).
Mutan, Z.*, Schiller, H.*, Schulze, S.*, and Pohlschroder, M. Immersed liquid biofilm and honeycomb pattern formations in Haloferax volcanii. 387-396. Methods in Molecular Biology: Archaea. Humana New York, NY. 2022. 2522(1).
Schulze, S.*, Schiller, H.*, Mutan, Z.*, and Pohlschroder, M. Cost-effective and versatile analysis of archaeal surface adhesion under shaking and standing conditions. 397-406. Methods in Molecular Biology: Archaea. Humana New York, NY. 2022. 2522(1).
Collins, M., Afolayan, S., Igiraneza, A.B., Schiller, H., Krespan, E., Beiting, D.P., Dyall-Smith, M., Pfeiffer, F., and Pohlschroder, M. 2021. Mutations affecting HVO_1357 or HVO_2248 cause hypermotility in Haloferax volcanii, suggesting roles in motility regulation. Genes, 12(1): 58.
Schiller, H.*, Schulze, S.*, Mutan, Z., de Vaulx, C., Runcie, C., Schwartz, J., Rados, T., Bisson Filho, A.W., and Pohlschroder, M. 2020. Haloferax volcanii immersed liquid biofilms develop independently of known biofilm machineries and exhibit rapid honeycomb pattern formation. mSphere, 5(6): e00976-20.
Identification and characterization of archaeal cell-shape determinants. March 2023. UPenn Biology Department Grad Student Extravaganza, Keynote Speaker.
Identification and characterization of archaeal cell-shape determinants. December 2022. UPenn Prokaryotic Seminar Series.
Identification and characterization of archaeal cell-shape determinants. May 2022. Archaea Power Hour Virtual Conference.
Using disk-defective Haloferax volcanii transposon mutants to understand the mechanism and regulation of archaeal cell shape transition. June 2021. World Microbe Forum.
Identification and characterization of cell-shape determinants in Haloferax volcanii. April 2021. UPenn Prokaryotic Seminar Series.
Awards and Honors
NIH T32 Training Grant in Microbial Pathogenesis and Genomics, 2022-2023
University of Pennsylvania Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Research Awards, 2021 & 2022
Phi Beta Kappa, 2017