Population ecology

Event Date: 
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 18:00 - 18:15
Institution: 
Macquarie University
Title: 

Aquifer microbial community assembly: do neutral processes dominate?

Abstract: 

Community assembly processes can be condensed into four categories: dispersal, selection, drift and speciation. We tested aquifer communities (of Archaea, Bacteria, Fungi, and Eukarya generally) for evidence that dispersal limitation and environmental selection play a role in determining community biodiversity and composition. We found only weak evidence for these processes at a regional scale of up to 250 km and spanning several significant dispersal barriers. I discuss the possibility that neutral (i.e. non-deterministic, non-selective) processes dominate in groundwater ecosystems, and the spatial scaling of these processes.

 

Event Date: 
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 19:15 - 20:00
Institution: 
CSIRO, Marine and Atmospheric Research and Wealth from Oceans, National Research Flagship, Hobart Tasmania 7000 Australia
Title: 

Microarrays within the environmental microbiology toolbox.

Abstract: 

Microbial communities are large and complex, to an extent often challenging human apprehension. An intrinsic challenge of microbial ecology is to assay this complexity in a way that promotes understanding. Every molecular method applied in microbial ecology has advantages and disadvantages, and it is an important task to make the best compromise between these methods in light of the experimental questions raised. Microarrays enable a reasonably high throughput in terms of sample number while providing a fairly high resolution of detected taxa, genes or gene variants. This combination makes microarrays often an optimal compromise between throughput and resolution in microbial ecology. The talk will describe the development and validation of a novel amoA microarray, followed by selected tales from nitrifier and methanotroph ecology studies illustrating the potential and limitations of microarray technology in microbial ecology.

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