Microbial Community Ecology

Microbial populations are a key component of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and carry out important ecosystem functions such as nutrient cycling and biogeochemical transformations.

We are interested in studying the ecology of microbial communities involved in processes that sustain healthy ecosystems. We use molecular biology tools to describe the diversity and structure of microbial communities in natural and managed ecosystems, we use environmental microbiology methods to study microbial functions, and we use the tools of community ecologists to relate microbial community composition to biological and environmental drivers.

Our goal is to improve our ability to predict the impact of global change and other anthropogenic influences on microbial ecosystem functions, and to harness microbial processes to enhance environmental quality.