At this month’s Midday Science Cafe, we are going on a journey through the wonderful world of the microbiome. We’ll zoom in on the communities of tiny organisms that live everywhere, from the leaves of plants to the guts of tropical reef fish, and do everything, from connecting neighborhoods of plants to creating renewable energy. You’ll hear from two scientists who study the bacteria, fungi, and viruses that make up a microbiome. First, Dr. Kyle Meyer, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, will discuss how the ecosystems neighboring an individual plant impact its microbiome and may influence plant health by creating nutrients or protecting against disease. Next, Dr. Lydia Rachbauer, a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint BioEnergy Institute at Berkeley Lab, will take us on a deep dive to explore the power of microbes found in a fish’s gut to digest complex sugars found in seaweed and how they might help us transform seaweed into a renewable energy source. These two scientists will show us just two examples of the many ways microbes shape the world around us.
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