Microbial Communities & Functions

Students looking at microorganisms

Microorganisms are everywhere: in the soil underfoot, the waters of our rivers, lakes and oceans, the air, and living in close association with the plants and animals of our world. The vast majority of these microorganisms are harmless, and many of them perform important functions for ecosystem and organism health. Faculty in NRES study microbial communities and their functional roles in many different ecosystems, including lakes, rivers, wetlands, prairies, forests, farm fields, animal housing facilities, and caves.

Microbial research at NRES includes nitrogen cycling microbes in natural and restored wetlands; beneficial microbial symbionts of bioenergy crops; microbial interactions with invasive plants and agricultural weeds; microbial sensitivity to environmental contaminants; and microbes associated with the skin and digestive tracts of livestock, cetaceans, and wildlife.

Faculty researching this area: