Functional traits: provide insight into generalsit and specialist strategies that influence coexistence.
Ecosystem function: microbes regulate processes in University Lake at the IU Research and Teaching Preserve.
Develop and test theory: dormancy creates seed banks that influence the diversity and functioning of communities.
Microbial evolution: 'rapid' evolution creates feedbacks on species interactions and ecosystem functioning.
Microbial Biodiversity: Evolution To Ecosystems
Microorganisms are the most abundant and diverse life forms on Earth. They have fast reproductive rates and evolve rapidly to changes in their environment. Microbes also carry out processes that are critical for the stability of engineered, environmental, and host-associated ecosystems.
We study the ecology and evolution of microbial communities. We are interested in the factors that generate and maintain microbial biodiversity. In turn, we seek to understand the implications of microbial diversity for ecosystem functioning. Our research uses various tools including molecular biology, simulation modeling, laboratory experiments, field surveys, and whole ecosystem manipulations in a wide range of habitats.