Microorganisms fill essential functional roles in all of Earth’s ecosystems yet our understanding of microbial abundance, distribution, and metabolism remains surprisingly limited. Columbia University’s new Earth Microbiology Initiative (EMI) has brought together a group of scientists and engineers from across the University to begin coordinated research on Earth’s microbial life. The Earth Microbiology Initiative leverages existing disciplinary resources into broad and interdisciplinary analyses of the extent and diversity of microbial life, its role in maintaining Earth’s living system, and its interactions with natural and human-induced variations.
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory’s Biological Oceanography Group works on a broad range of issues related to life in the ocean. We are interested in large-scale patterns of marine production and how these patterns will respond to climate change as well as influence the course of climate response. We use both laboratory measurements and take part in numerous sea-going studies to determine the factors controlling the production of marine phytoplankton. These primary producers represent almost half of the biological productivity on our planet and support the ocean’s vast food webs. We work in various ecosystems from polar seas to the tropics and study scales of processes ranging from global to individual cells using tools that span from satellites to molecular biology.
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