IGN 19-7 - Quantitative frontiers in microbial ecology

Thursday, August 10, 2017
C123, Oregon Convention Center
Bruce A. Hungate, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
Biodiversity shapes ecosystems, and microbial diversity is vast. But the hackneyed “black box” of microbial ecology persists: ecosystem scientists collapse microbial diversity into a box and a few arrows. We do this because this is still a useful approach on scales relevant for biogeochemistry. Insights from molecular tools to the microbial world do not yet connect strongly to quantitative biogeochemistry. Yet, there is good reason to try to make this connection, and there are promising new approaches for doing so. Here, I frame this challenge with new techniques using isotopes, molecules, and math to explore quantitative microbial ecology.