Microbiomes. Hyperdiversity. (analogy between hyperdiversity in microbes and in societies). Human commensual microbiomes (gut, sweat etc).
I’m interested in:
Health implications of considering your body as an ecosystem, with all the weirdness that entails
- Or, if you’d like, considering us as a superorganism whose cells are 90% inhuman, and whose genes are 99% inhuman, according to the beeb
environmental implications of the largely hidden microbiome (geoengineering! horrible climate feedbacks!)
The economics-driven approaches used to analyse microbes.
These little single-celled monsters are suggestively human in their interactions; what with profligate horizontal gene transfer, hyperdiversity and incredibly short generation times, they look, if you squint, more like a human economy than a Lotka-Volterra system.
No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same.
- Brockhurst, M. A., Buckling, A., & Gardner, A. (2007). Cooperation Peaks at Intermediate Disturbance. Current Biology, ??
- Cordero, O. X., Ventouras, L.-A., DeLong, E. F., & Polz, M. F.(2012). Public good dynamics drive evolution of iron acquisition strategies in natural bacterioplankton populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(49), 20059–20064. DOI. Online.
- Cordero, O. X., Wildschutte, H., Kirkup, B., Proehl, S., Ngo, L., Hussain, F., … Polz, M. F.(2012). Ecological Populations of Bacteria Act as Socially Cohesive Units of Antibiotic Production and Resistance. Science, 337(6099), 1228–1231. DOI. Online.
- Heck, K. L., Jr., Belle, G. van, & Simberloff, D. (1975). Explicit Calculation of the Rarefaction Diversity Measurement and the Determination of Sufficient Sample Size. Ecology, 56(6), 1459–1461. DOI. Online.
- Kraemer, S. A., & Velicer, G. J.(2014). Social complementation and growth advantages promote socially defective bacterial isolates. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 281(1781), 20140036. DOI. Online.
- Oliveira, N. M., Niehus, R., & Foster, K. R.(2014). Evolutionary limits to cooperation in microbial communities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(50), 17941–17946. DOI. Online.