Molecular Microbial Ecology

Research in the Moran Lab focuses on the role of marine bacteria in the productivity of the coastal ocean and the formation and flux of climate-relevant gases. We use molecular biology, genomic, and metagenomic approaches to investigate processes carried out by the ocean microbiome in elemental cycles. Ongoing carbon cycle research emphasizes identification of important routes of carbon flux through coastal bacterial communities, with the long-term goal of improving predictions of carbon fate (metabolism to CO2, sequestration into biomass, storage in long-term carbon reservoirs in the sea) in the context of a changing coastal ocean. Ongoing sulfur cycle research emphasizes the discovery of microbial genes driving key sulfur transformations and learning about their regulation in an environmental context, with the long-term goal of understanding biological controls on ocean-atmosphere flux of sulfur gases.