Communities, not total biomass, control net process rates and drive the biogeochemical cycles that sustain the biosphere. Thus, descriptions of the temporal and spatial dimensions of microbial community structure and the complex gene expression patterns that underlie trophic interactions are fundamental to a more complete understanding of our biosphere.
Our research interests are focused on (I) the adaptation of microbial community structure and activity to external stress factors, and (II) the role microorganisms play in biogeochemical cycles. To aid our research we currently focus on three defined terrestrial microbial systems:
The lack of electron donors in deep subsurface systems,
the stress of land use change and intensive agriculture on soil systems, and
the extreme conditions in sediments under acid mine drainage.