Lab news

Welcome to Sarai Finks and Cynthia Rodriguez, two new PhD students that have joined the lab!

Congrats to Sydney Glassman, who will start a faculty position at UC Riverside this summer! For information on her lab, see here.

Julio Avelar-Barragan, a CMB (Cellular and Molecular Biosciences Program) student, is rotating in the lab.

We are happy to be hosting Lucía Vivanco, a visiting Fulbright Scholar from the University of Buenos Aires, again this winter.

Jen and Frede Thingstad are organizing a session on "Trait-baed theory and its applications in microbial communities" at ISME17 this coming summer.

Alex's new paper on trait variation within a terrestrial bacterial taxon in mBio, with accompanying commentary.

We enjoyed visiting with Ben Kerr (University of Washington) and Martin Polz (MIT) this past fall, when they visited to give EEB research seminars.

Michaeline's new paper on the influence of bacterial dispersal on community composition is out in The ISME Journal.

UCI17_WEB_MicrobiomeIni_blueJen and Katrine Whiteson launched the UCI Microbiome Initiative.

Research Overview

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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