Antibiotics from natural sources are an essential part of modern medicine; however, their function in the environment is poorly understood.
In this project, we perform manipulation experiments both at UNSW and at Sydney Institute for Marine Science (SIMS) combined with a range of –omic technologies (e.g. deep sequencing of phylogenetic marker genes, genomics, transcriptomics, etc.) to define how antibiotic-producing bacteria from marine macroalgae determine ecological interactions. This project addresses the fundamental question of the impact of antibiotics in natural systems and the role of antibiotic-producing bacteria in safeguarding important habitat-forming macroalgae against environmental stress.
Our large-scale coastal microbial observatory program investigates the temporal and spatial dynamics of microbial communities in the water column. We observe sediments and coral, seaweeds, sponges and seagrasses.
Despite the lack of sunlight and nutrients, many deep-sea environments are full of coral reefs and sponge gardens. We’re aiming to understand how the metabolic capacity and versatility of symbiotic bacteria support their growth.
In this important project, we aim to define the assembly of microbial communities by functional properties rather than by the species.