Within the oceans, microbes have an essential role, making the oxygen we breathe, removing greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, anchoring the marine food web, fueling life within coral reefs, and promoting the health of fisheries and marine mammals. Microbes are thereby the lifeline of the ocean and its inhabitants. In recent years, marine microbiology has flourished with the advent of genomics and other tools that describe the diversity and metabolic capabilities of the ocean microbiome. Here, we plan to move beyond these studies to explore the interactions of microbes with each other and with their environments, through the medium of chemistry. To that end, we have invited prominent researchers that focus on the ways in which organisms affect the chemistry of their environment, in which they are affected by this chemistry or in which they use chemistry to work synergistically within an ecosystem.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to research and education to advance understanding of the ocean and its interaction with the Earth system, and to communicating this understanding for the benefit of society. Learn more »