Microbiome predators are key for microbiome functioning, the major ones being protists and nematodes. Still, most studies focusing on the importance of these organisms have used single model species or are based on correlative evidence.
Here you will experimentally manipulate soil biodiversity to decipher the importance of protists and nematodes as potential creators of soil microbiomes. You will do this in lab and greenhouse experiments. You will measure changes in microbiome structure using qPCR and sequencing techniques. Interaction experiments can also be done in the lab to better understand how individual protists and nematodes differentiate their prefer prey items and if that explains observed shifts in microbiome composition. Many experimental directions and analytical techniques c an obviously be performed that are mostly limited by your creativity!