Microdiversity & Coevolution

Modern molecular techniques allow scientists to survey the taxonomic composition of microbial communities in a fast an inexpensive manner, yet it is still unclear what are the relevant ecological units in the environment (species, strains, genes). Using high-throughput genomics of structured biofilms found in natural and engineered systems, we are taking an unsupervised approach to find how microbial communities are organized at the subspecies level. By studying how different populations of interacting bacteria match their strain-level diversity, we are also hoping to learn how microbial genomes coevolve in the environment.