The School of Biological Sciences Spring 2023 Seminar Series presents Dr. Linta Reji

Linta Reji, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Geosciences, Princeton University


Live via Zoom

Probing the Link between Microbial Diversity and Ecosystem Responses to Environmental Change

Microorganisms comprise most of the biodiversity on earth and perform critical functions that propel and maintain the planet’s life-sustaining biogeochemical cycles. Deciphering the mechanistic links between microbial eco-evolutionary dynamics and biogeochemical processes is key to understanding ecosystem responses to a changing world. A critical consideration in this regard is microbial adaptation to environmental change in complex natural systems, which is intricately linked to diversity within communities.  In this presentation, I will discuss the functional consequences of microbial diversity in natural systems, and the mechanisms by which co-occurring microbes partition niche space in geochemically fluctuating environments. To this end, I will focus on two microbial groups: archaea of the phylum Thaumarchaeota and the bacterial phylum Acidobacteria. These groups comprise up to 40 and 60% of the community in marine and terrestrial systems, respectively, and consist of oligotrophic microbes that play key roles in the global carbon and nitrogen cycles. I will draw parallels between the ecophysiology of the two groups and discuss the functional consequences of their diversification and niche differentiation on nitrogen and carbon transformations in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. I will further highlight the utility of dynamic natural systems and controlled perturbation experiments as study systems to probe microbial diversification patterns along environmental gradients. The presentation will conclude with current and future research focused on extending these approaches to specific global change scenarios aimed at developing a mechanistic understanding of microbial responses to environmental change and their consequences for nutrient cycling in a changing world.

Host: Dr. Joel Kostka

Event Details


  • Tuesday, January 31, 2023
    10:45 am - 11:45 am
Location: Roger A. and Helen B Krone Engineered Biosystems Building, 950 Atlantic Drive, Atlanta, GA 30032, Room 1005

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  • Dr. Linta Reji