Lab news

Welcome to Rich Puxty, new postdoc, and Alex Chase, new PhD student.


Jen, Kristin, and Michaeline travelled to Seoul, Korea for the ISME 15 meeting. (Here with former postdoc in the lab, Jay Lennon.)

Congratulations to Kristin who received three awards recently: the BioSci Dean's Award at the UCI AGS Symposium for her presentation, the Brython Davis Graduate Fellowship, and the Lake Forest Garden Club Scholarship.

Recent publication news

Kristin Matulich’s study on microbial composition and environmental change in Ecology.

Two new papers from last year’s sabbatical in Lasse Riemann’s lab at the University of Copenhagen: about marine virus-host coevolution in Annual Reviews and on marine bacterial biogeography in Applied and Environmental Microbiology


The importance of microbes for litter decomposition in response to global change in Ecology.

Anthony Amend publishes on the global distribution of marine bacteria in Journal of Biogeography.

China Hanson’s biogeography analysis on the cover of Nature Reviews Microbiology

Microbial composition matters for sediment functioning in ISME Journal.

Other selected
publications from the lab

Research Overview

Competition cultures
Our lab studies the generation and maintenance of microbial diversity and its consequences for ecosystem functioning. In the past, we have focused on characterizing patterns of microbial diversity (biogeographic patterns). We are now turning our attention to experimentally testing the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms generating these patterns and whether this variation in microbial composition affects ecosystem functioning.

We study all sorts of microbes such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi in a variety of ecosystems. Depending on the question, we also apply a range of approaches, including experimental evolution, field experiments, and greenhouse microcosms. We often use molecular genetic approaches to characterize microbial diversity (from PCR and cloning to whole genome sequencing and functional metagenomics), with the goal of linking this genetic diversity to phenotypic traits and ecosystem functioning.

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