Space: The Final Frontier of Microbial Communities

Jan 18, 2023, 9:00 amJan 20, 2023, 2:30 pm
PCTS, Jadwin Hall, Room 407
Event Description

Organizers: Sujit Datta, Alejandro Martínez-Calvo, Linta Reji, Ned Wingreen, Xinning Zhang

Microbial communities critically impact our lives. However, despite their ubiquity and importance, how such populations self-assemble and function in real-life complex environments—such as on particulate organic matter in the ocean, soils/sediments in terrestrial environments, and tissues or gels in host organisms—is poorly understood. Field and in vivo studies provide useful insights into how such communities function at the macroscale, but often cannot fully resolve spatially- and temporally-patchy biogeochemical ‘hotspots’ that originate from microbial metabolism locally. Laboratory and theoretical/computational studies provide useful insights into how such communities function under simplified conditions, but generally don’t replicate the spatial complexity of natural habitats and communities. The goal of this workshop is to bring together three different communities of researchers – field scientists, laboratory microbiologists, and theorists/modelers – to explore ways to better connect field/in vivo experiments, laboratory/in vitro experiments, and modeling.  Our overarching goal is to learn more about this exciting area, bring together leading researchers to share diverse perspectives, and clarify unifying/open questions for future research.