Humans usually recognize the impact of microbes on their lives through an infectious disease or spoiled food, but microorganisms have far more important beneficial effects. Microbes are responsible for producing foods (wine, cheese, and bread) and biofuels (ethanol, CH4, H2), degrading toxic compounds, recycling organic material, and driving biogeochemical cycles in nature. Our capacity to appreciate them is based on the limited number of microbial species in isolation. Owing to molecular biology techniques, we know that many more microbial species are waiting to be discovered. The research program in our laboratory is guided by the following specific questions:
- 1) How is the genetic diversity of a species reflected in its habitat abundance pattern?
- 2) What biological, chemical, and physical forces shape spatial and temporal patterns of species distribution?
- 3) What are the genomic features (genes, regulatory sequences, gene copy number, etc.) responsible for the ecological outcome of a species?
To answer these questions, our laboratory has been using a combination of genomic, proteomic, and physiological experimental data to study microbial phylogenetic and functional diversification. Results from this work have broad implications to basic research in evolutionary biology and ecology, and applied aspects, such as conservation policies for natural and agricultural ecosystems.
US Department of Agriculture
Department of Energy - Environ. Molecular Science Lab.
Department of Energy - Joint Genome Institute
Recent NewsMar 2017 - We welcome Eloi to the lab.
Mar 2017 - The Amazon Soil Microbiome.
Feb 2017 - Two new great publications on forests!
Dec 2016 - Nipon welcome to the lab!
Dec 2016 - Malini and Wadud defended their PhDs! Job well done!
I am always looking for bright and
interested graduate students. Check the following UC Davis graduate
programs: Soils and Biogeochemistry, Microbiology, and
Contact me if you are interested in
our work: firstname.lastname@example.org