Microbes play an important role in various aspects of our lives, from our own health to the health of our environment. Microbial communities have been blamed for diseases including colonic cancer and obesity, and praised for generating clean fuel and breaking down pollutants in oil spills. More fundamentally, because of their short generation time and small size, microbes have proven to be an excellent laboratory model for studying complex systems. Due to their practical and fundamental scientific importance, it is crucial that we develop an understanding of how these microbial communities function and how we can manipulate them to our benefit. Our current research focuses on this problem, which we are approaching by developing computational and mathematical models whose predictions we test experimentally in the lab. To read more, click here.