Microbial Ecology Lab
The microbial ecology and carbon cycle laboratory is focused on understanding the role microorganisms play in mediating the journey of carbon (aquatic carbon is a major reservoir of reactive carbon in the biosphere) and associated bioactive elements in the aquatic environment. In recent decades, there has been an explosion of ideas and research regarding the importance of microbial life on our planet. It is now widely recognized that inconspicuous microbes drive many ecosystem level processes (including bulk of aquatic metabolism) thereby regulating the movement of energy and materials through ecosystems. Another recent finding of importance has been the observation that even very large lakes (such as Lake Michigan) benefit from substantial terrestrial subsidies, indicating close linkages between land and water everywhere. Knowing how land, water and the atmosphere link together, and how microorgan isms respond to changes in these linkages, are critical to our understanding of how energy and materials (including carbon and pollutants) circulate in a rapidly changing world.
The laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility that includes an organic and inorganic carbon analyzer; automated titrimetry; several microscopes equipped with digital cameras, image analysis software, and epifluorescence systems; a radioactive isotope lab, multiparameter sondes; light sensors, self-designed chambers for production/respiration studies; and temperature controlled growth chambers.
Page last modified October 21, 2011