At Clark University, I study the dynamics by which complex microbial ecosystems organize into simple patterns. I focus on microbial communities living in water-saturated sediment. I seek to understand how these diverse ecosystems organize in space and time to cycle nutrients. We perform perform multi-week experiments to observe how oxygen-producing organisms and oxygen-consuming organisms organize in a two-dimensional ecosystem. Additionally, we extract charismatic but uncultured bacteria (including the fast-swimming bacterium Thiovulum majus and Multicellular Magnetotactic Bacteria) from the sediment. We study the physics and ecology underlying their extraordinary forms of motility. As a graduate student, we showed how the geometries of river networks, on Earth and Mars, and microbial fossils both arise from growth in a harmonic field.

Albert Libchaber
Xiao-lun Wu
Daniel Rothman
Tanja Bosak
Olivier Devauchelle
Daniel Abrams

Contact me here.