[Seminar] Why resource dynamics matter in microbial communities
The management and optimisation of microbial communities is emerging as a promising tool across diverse medical, agricultural and industrial applications. Realising this goal is, however, contingent on knowing which levers to pull to favourably shape microbial community structure. In this talk I will argue that temporal patterns of resource supply likely play a greatly under-appreciated, yet controllable, role in regulating the winners and losers in microbial competition. With the help of simple mathematical models and emerging data, I will highlight some potential implications for: i) the evolution and persistence of antibiotic resistance in dynamic environments; and ii) the composition and stability of the animal gut microbiome. Model-based predictions form the basis of a variety of hypotheses that my group is investigating via in vitro and in vivo experiments.
Andrew is a population biologist in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland, Australia. The overarching goal of his research program is to understand the effect of environmental fluctuations on the stability and functioning of ecological communities, with increasing emphasis on microbial systems. Before joining UQ, Andrew was a Marie Curie fellow at ETH Zurich (2018-2020), a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand (2017-2018), and a CEHG (Centre for Computational, Evolutionary and Human Genomics) postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, USA (2015-2017). He did his PhD (2011-2015) in the Centre for Ecosystem Science at UNSW Australia