Hello, my name is Audrey Peel.
I’m a researcher at Princeton High School studying the different yeast communities that live in sourdough starter, inspired by my love of baking. My sourdough research could lead to valuable insights about microbial community structure and succession, which could later be applied to larger microbiomes such as the human gut. In the future, I hope to study the intersections of food science, nutrition, and environmental science in areas such as urban agriculture.
Current Research Project
The Effect of Flour Type on The Number and Strain of Yeast Communities in Sourdough Starters Over 14 Days, From Initial Establishment to Climax Community
Sourdough starters are a mix of flour and water, providing a home for many different strains of fungi and bacteria. The fungi found in sourdough are mostly yeast, while the bacteria are often lactobacillus or acetic acid bacteria. However, the fascinating thing about sourdough starters is how many different species of organisms thrive in each individual mixture- and there’s still so much to learn about the species of microorganisms that grow. My experiment studies when and what yeast species grow in sourdough starters made with rye, all purpose, and sorghum flours.