Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar
Microorganisms are ubiquitous across environments, typically by far the most numerous organisms in any system. How these microbes interact with each other and their chemical environment shapes ecosystems and the planet as a whole. In this seminar I will use denitrification, the microbial pathway of reducing biologically accessible nitrate to inert dinitrogen gas, as a lens to reveal community development, evolution, and the myriad ways in which bacteria transform the world for their liking. We will explore how organisms live in communities and across redox gradients, and the mechanisms that give rise to their collective power to reshape global processes. We will try to arrive at a unifying understanding that transcends individual systems, from ocean particles to soil aggregates to biofilms in the human body. After all, this is a microbial planet; we're just along for the ride.