Murat Eren (Meren) is a computer scientist and microbial ecologist who studies microbial lifestyles in a wide range of habitats that span from oceans and the human gut to sewage infrastructures and insect ovaries. Positioned at the unique intersection between computer science and microbiology, Meren and his group combine state-of-the-art computational strategies and molecular approaches to shed light on the ecology and evolution of naturally occurring microbial populations, with the primary aim of understanding strategies by which microbes thrive within their ever-changing environments. With their commitment to making science open and accessible, the members of the group are among the most active developers of anvi’o, an open-source software platform that strives to empower microbiologists by providing analytical tools and visualization strategies that aid in comprehending the avalanche of new data that is reshaping microbiology.
Some of the most recent work from Meren’s group includes: (1) the integration of in silico protein biochemistry and metagenomics to study outcomes of long-term evolutionary processes within surface ocean microbial populations, and (2) studies of translational regulation that fine-tune microbial fitness in extremely short time scales. A future goal of the group is to study highly time-resolved translational responses of marine microbes to dynamic changes in the surface ocean environment, and to investigate the predictability of long-term outcomes of evolution based on the targets of translational regulation.
Meren received a B.S. in computer engineering from the Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey in 2002, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of New Orleans in 2011. During his postdoctoral training with Mitchell L. Sogin at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., he focused on high-resolution analyses of naturally occurring complex microbial systems through marker genes and metagenomes. Meren was the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Ocean Sciences in 2020, and is a Fellow of the Marine Biological Laboratory.