Work in the Ottesen lab seeks to understand the structure and function of complex microbial communities, and the ways in which microbes interact with and perceive complex environments. A major focus is the use of molecular ecological tools to observe microbial behavior in the environment. This includes not only observing and tracking changes in which microbes are present in an environment, but also using community transcriptomics to observe changes in microbial gene expression over time. By studying microbial behavior “in the wild”, we hope to gain a better understanding of the roles and significance of diverse members of the uncultured microbial majority.
- Ph.D. in Biology, California Institute of Technology (2008)