Microbes matter: “Understanding the behaviour of complex microbial communities in their natural environments is key to improving human, animal and environmental health, and therefore quality of life. This is what drives me: microbes matter – seemingly simple bugs that sparkle in their complexity.”
Research and education within the Microbial Ecology Group aims at understanding and exploring the functioning of microorganisms in natural and man-made ecosystems, including interdependencies with their living and non-living environments. Key research issues include: 1) microbiota associated with body surfaces (gut, skin, mouth) in humans, livestock, rodent-animal models, companion animals and wildlife 2) Microbial communities in environmental biotechnology and 3) Microbes and their cellular biomarkers as proxies for ecosystem life history and environmental change, embracing a OneHealth perspective. Activities focus on innovative cultivation-based and molecular approaches aimed at understanding microbial composition and functionality at the system level, including the application of next-generation sequencing.