Northwestern University

Mon 4:00 PM

Jeffrey Gore: Building Microbial Communities from the Bottom Up

When: Monday, April 16, 2018
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM  

Where: Technological Institute, M416, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Beth Anne Siculan   847.491.3345

Group: McCormick-Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Title: Building Microbial Communities from the Bottom Up

Speaker: Jeffrey Gore, Department of Physics, MIT

Microbes exist in complex, multi-species communities with diverse interactions that play an essential role in both human health as well as the health of the planet. Over the last decade tremendous progress has been made in characterizing these communities, but the lack of experimentally tractable model systems has made it difficult to discern the rules governing microbial community assembly and function. In this talk I will describe our recent experimental effort to develop a bottom-up approach to understanding the dynamics of these communities. We have begun by quantifying the network of pairwise competitive outcomes among species within a model microbial community. We find that simple assembly rules incorporating just these pairwise competitive outcomes are surprisingly successful in predicting the outcome of multi-species competition in multiple environments as well as within the gut of the worm, indicating that higher-order interactions among species can often be neglected. These results are a first step towards a bottom-up approach of predicting the emergent behavior within complex multi-species communities.

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