When Tiny Things Rule the World
Wednesday, August 12, 2015: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
336, Baltimore Convention Center
Tamara J. Zelikova, University of Wyoming
Kelly S Ramirez, Netherlands Institute of Ecology; and
Teresa Bilinski, St. Edward’s University
Kelly S Ramirez, Netherlands Institute of Ecology
Over half of the biomass on earth is microbial. Microbes not only dominate terrestrial ecosystems, but they are also critical for maintaining ecosystem function and sustaining human life. With the advent of cheaper sequencing methods and novel approaches that link microbial community structure and function, microbial ecology is at the forefront of science discovery. Microbes, from viruses and bacteria to fungi and protists, interact in ways we are only beginning to understand. In this ESA Ignite Session, we propose to bring together a group of women scientists who study microbial-mediated processes in a range of environments - from the human body to soils and plants to the built environment. The goal of this session is to encourage a more holistic view of microbial interactions and functions, and ultimately improve our understanding of these complex systems. The Ignite format allows us to bring together research that is often separated in conference settings because the scale or environment in which the interactions are examined differs. Still, presentations in this session have a number of commonalities, including (1) the use of cutting-edge approaches to address both classical and novel ecological questions, (2) research that goes beyond the norm, conducted from unique perspectives, (3) placing results in the context of global change, and finally (4) highlighting research led by women - we recognize that there are many women working in microbial ecology and in this centennial ESA year, we want to use this session to promote and celebrate their work.