College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Environmental Science & Technology

Microbial ecology

Microbial ecology is focused on understanding the complex interactions that occur between the large diversity of microorganisms and the environment that they occupy. In terrestrial systems, microbes cycle nutrients, stabilize soils, and weather minerals. We use molecular techniques combined with enzyme assays, stable isotope tracing, and other activity measures to understand which microbes are active under different conditions.  One of the most important questions we address: Can microbial composition be used to predict ecosystem function?

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