Marine Microbial Ecology
Research in the Fuhrman Lab focuses on microbial biodiversity in the broadest sense, and how viruses, bacteria, archaea, protists, and primary producers interact to shape the network of microorganisms functioning in the marine environment. Using field and laboratory experiments in conjunction with molecular, bioinformatic, and statistical tools, we investigate temporal and spatial patterns of microbial productivity and diversity, taking advantage of over 20 years of monthly data from our USC Microbial Observatory at the San Pedro Ocean Time Series (SPOT) as well as other data from around the world. Ongoing research emphasizes the roles of microbial interactions, including those with viruses and protists, on shaping the bacterial and archaeal populations, specifically seeking to link particular organisms within their complex network of associations. A major effort in the lab is our part of the CBIOMES project, supported by the Simons Foundation, with the overall goal of substantially improving global models of marine biological systems. As part of that work, we are developing global biogeographies of bacteria, archaea and protists, as well as assessing how those biogeographies relate to fundamental traits, processes, and rates.
We gratefully acknowledge support from: