At a fundamental level, we are interested in understanding the physiological and ecological constrains of microbial life that lead to the emergence of structure in microbial ecosystem.
We address this fundamental problem in the context of the microbial communities that digest complex forms of organic matter in the environment, and in particular, the ocean. This choice of context allows us to establish a link between the micro-scale community dynamics and processes of global impact, such as the C cycle. Moreover, COM-degrading communities have a large potential for applications in industry, especially as tools to unlock new biomass feedstocks.
Our research is enabled by a suit of resources built over the last few years: a large and diverse collection of marine bacteria (representative of most well-known particle associated organisms), genetic tools, ecological arenas for synthetic ecologies, mathematical models and hundreds of newly sequenced genomes.
Our current projects are divided in the following areas:
Carbon utilization strategies. High-throughput physiology.
Developmental dynamics of microbial cell aggregates.
Engineering of spatially structured microbial consortia.
Data-driven discovery of functional groups in microbial communities.