Microbial ecology, a synergy between microbiology, ecology, and bioinformatics, has revealed an important role for host-microbe interactions as drivers of ecosystem functions such as productivity, resilience, or resistance to pathogens. In our group, we use microbial ecology to explore multi-domain host-microbe interactions in a context of (1) temporal variation of taxonomic and functional microbial community structure; (2) increasing abiotic stresses due to global change; and (3) development of microbial bio-control technologies (synthetic communities) as an alternative to chemicals.

My Canada Research Chair T2 in microbial ecology aims to expand our mechanistic understanding of plant-microbe symbioses and improve technologies aimed at maintaining ecosystem productivity, resilience, and resistance.

Figure 1. Our research provides an integrative understanding of the extrinsic (environment- and host-related) and intrinsic factors (microbe-microbe interactions and their retroactions on host phenotype and fitness) that determine host microbial community assembly, diversity, resilience, and resistance to pathogens.