Conceptual challenges in microbial community ecology
With all the pressing issues at hand both globally and locally for everyone, I have not felt the inspiration to make a blog post over the past few weeks. In light of that, I will just leave this recent issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences.
Just to give a primer of how amazing this issue is:
Microorganisms play fundamental roles in environments from the human gut to the open ocean. Since technology now allows us to catalogue the enormous diversity of microorganisms in samples, a new challenge is to interpret these data by placing them into larger conceptual frameworks. This theme issue aims to highlight new advances and potential opportunities to do that. Four overarching themes emerge from the contributions:
I was fortunate enough to get invited back to the UCI Microbial Group, who will be reading some articles from this issue throughout the Spring quarter (or the next 10 weeks). I will cover some articles on a weekly basis following their schedule and will update here for those who want to follow along.
Week 1 - April 2nd
"Putting science back into microbial ecology: a question of approach"
Week 2 - April 9th
"Ecological and evolutionary mechanisms underlying patterns of phylosymbiosis in host-associated microbial communities"
Week 3 - April 16th
"Dormancy dynamics and dispersal contribute to soil microbiome resilience"
JW Sorenson & A Shade
Week 4 - April 23rd
"Experimental manipulation of selfish genetic elements links genes to microbial community function"
SD Quistad, G Doulcier, PB Rainey
Week 5 - April 30th
"Linking regional shifts in microbial genome adaptation with surface ocean biogeochemistry"
CA Garcia, GI Hagstrom, AA Larkin, LJ Ustick, SA Levin, MW Lomas, AC Martiny
Week 6 - May 7th
"Understanding the evolution of interspecies interactions in microbial communities"
FA Gorter, M Manhart, M Ackermann
Week 7 - May 14th
"Phylogenetic conservation of soil bacterial responses to simulated global changes"
K Isobe, NJ Bouskill, EL Brodie, EA Sudderth, JBH Martiny
Week 8 - May 21st
"How can microbial population genomics inform community ecology?"
D VanInsberghe, P Arevalo, D Chien, MF Polz