Microbial Ecology and Biogeochemistry in the Anthropocene Sea

There are a million microorganisms in a speck of seawater, and we have only a limited understanding of what these organisms ‘do’—what they ‘eat,’ how they survive, or how they interact.  However, we do know that the collective activities of these tiny cells drive global cycles of biologically‑essential elements such as nitrogen and carbon, and that global biogeochemical cycles have been subsequently altered by human activities.

The overarching goal of our research is to develop a predictive understanding of microbial ecology and biogeochemistry—i.e., to understand linkages and feedbacks among microbial communities and the biogeochemical processes that they mediate—in rapidly changing aquatic ecosystems.  To achieve this, we use techniques ranging from molecular biology to automated sampling to stable isotope biogeochemistry, and employ model ecosystems, experimental manipulations, and environmental gradients within open‑ocean, coastal, and lake ecosystems.

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