Microbial Community Ecology in the Human Mouth
We share our bodies with a lot of bacteria. From both cellular and genetic perspectives, “our” bodies are more bacterial than human. And these bacteria live in such different time and spatial scales, with minute-scale generation times and micron-scale assemblages. But, we still don’t know the fundamental ecology underpinning these complex but ordered microbial communities. My research investigates human-associated bacterial communities from an ecological perspective, focusing on how they interact with each other and with their environment (the human).
To study these communities, I use both microscopy and sequencing: microscopy to study the structure of communities at microbially-relevant spatial scales, and sequencing to reveal the metacommunity composition. These approaches will help us understand both the microbe-microbe symbioses and the microbe-host symbioses that make for a healthy, stable ecosystem.
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