Microbial communities are the biological foundations of every ecosystem. In the Shade Lab, we investigate the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of microorganisms within their communities. How have microorganisms evolved to interact with each other and with their environment such that an emergent community forms? How does a microbial community achieve stability in the face of perpetual environmental and biological change? We pursue the answers to these questions in a variety of environmental and host-associated ecosystems, including soils, plants, and water. We use multidisciplinary and quantitative methods, including tools from bioinformatics, genomics, microbiology, analytical chemistry, environmental science, and statistics. The results of our research will allow for prediction, management, and remodeling of microbial communities, in whatever ecosystem they thrive.
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