Deciphering the Ocean’s Microbiome

  • Speaker
  • Edward F. DeLong, Ph.D.Co-Director, SCOPE
    Professor, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii
    Visiting Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Date & Time

About Life Sciences

Life Sciences lectures are open to the public and are held at the Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium at the Simons Foundation headquarters in New York City. Tea is served prior to each lecture.

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Microbial life began in the sea and is integral to the function of all life on Earth. Until recently, though, oceanic microbial life was virtually invisible to biologists. Genome-enabled approaches can now reveal the inner workings of oceanic microbial communities and how those microbes sustain our living seas.

In this lecture, Edward DeLong will explain how oceanic microbial life controls and sustains ecosystem function in the sea. Despite the importance of the microbes, their small size, lack of morphological features and tremendous diversity has prohibited their detailed characterization in natural settings. New genomic technologies now allow microbial oceanographers to record “motion pictures” of microbial community dynamics in unprecedented detail. These microbial “motion pictures” are now revealing how our living seas function in space and time, from molecules to ecosystems.

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About the Speaker

DeLong is a professor of oceanography at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. His group uses genomics and quantitative biology to study the dynamics of microbial communities in the ocean. His work focuses on understanding oceanic microbial ecosystems from the surface to the seafloor. His current work focuses on studying the spatiotemporal dynamics of microbial genomic variability and gene expression in the waters north of the Hawaiian Islands. DeLong is currently co-director of the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE) and president-elect of the International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME).

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