How do ecological interactions depend on the environment?
In nature communities of microbes reside in complex environmental settings such as lakes and oceans. In this context the chemical environment is exceedingly complex, with hundreds or thousands of distinct chemical compounds present. How does the chemical complexity of the environment relate to the interactions between microbes?
In collaboration with the Blainey lab at MIT we are working to probe the dependence of a ubiquitous ecological interaction on chemical context. We are studying how phototroph - heterotroph interactions depend on the nutrient content of the environment. We are exploiting a high-throughput droplet based technique for massively parallel screens community dynamics.
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This work is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through the Scialog - Molecules Come to Life program.