Our Research

Recent research advances have revealed that the vast diversity of evolved life is microbial, and that both plants and animals require intimate, life-long, and co-evolved relationships with the microbial world to maintain their health.

These findings provide evidence that the biosphere does not exist as as a collection of individual organisms upon which natural selection occurs, but rather as complex, multi-genome, nested ecosystems. It turns out that microbial communities play a key role in the healthy functioning of our bodies, as well as the planet-scale cycling of elements that shape our dynamic planet.

Carnegie researchers investigate interactions between microbial communities across a range of environments, from the human gut microbiome, which affects our development, fertility, and longevity; to the microbial mats found in hot springs, which could inform climate change adaptation strategies; to microbial ecological processes occurring in the ocean, which shape global cycling of elements such as carbon and nitrogen.