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Focus Areas

The Microbial Communities Initiative consists of three Focus Areas.

Focus Area 1

Microengineering and Microanalytics (Jay Grate, Lead) addresses the multi-modal microscale imaging of cellulose degradation, oxygen use, and biomass distribution in microfluidic porous media habitats, as well as coupling biogeochemical reaction rate analyses to specific identification of the microbes responsible for those biogeochemical transformations. Currently there are four projects within this focus area:

Focus Area 2

Simulation Modeling (Tim Scheibe, Lead) is developing novel simulation models that represent the microscale biological diversity of microbial communities as well as the physical and chemical heterogeneities of natural environments at the microscale.

  • Multiscale Models for Microbial Communities
  • Advancing the Use of Microfluidic Models for Studying Microbial Communities: Integration of Microfluidic Model Experimentation, Multimodal Imaging, and Modeling

Focus Area 3

Extending Genomics & Proteomics to Quantitative Functional Analyses (Mary Lipton, Lead) is developing methods to apply these technologies to address community ecology questions, in particular, the analysis of functional redundancy in microbial communities.

Microbial Communities

Biological Sciences Division

Fundamental & Computational Sciences

Research Highlights

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1st Quarter


2nd Quarter

1st Quarter


Beyond the Batch: Understanding the Physical and Biological Structure of Microbial Communities
February 7, 2011
12:30 p.m.
EMSL Auditorium

Microbial Communities on YouTube Icon


Initiative Lead

, Lead
Microengineering and Microanalytics

, Lead
Simulation Modeling

, Lead
Extending Genomics & Proteomics to Quantitative Functional Analyses