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Department of Ecology, Evolution & Marine Biology | UC Santa Barbara | Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9620

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WILBANKS LAB

Our research examines

how the ecology of microorganisms influences evolution 

and drives nutrient cycling in marine environments.

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We work to discover and quantify microbial interactions in natural marine ecosystems over scales bridging single cells to ecosystems.  Understanding ecosystems with this resolution will help us improve predictive models of ecosystem function and discover fundamental principles governing the dynamics of microbial communities.

photo by Scott Chimelinski

Microbial metabolism has shaped our planet

since early geological time.

 

This engine drives global nutrient cycling.  

NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz and Joshua Stevens,  LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response

At present, our study systems focus on the bacteria and archaea associated with marine particles, aggregates, and biofilms.

 

 Our experiments range from the field to the lab and integrate a diverse toolset including (meta)genomics, microscopy, microsensors, cultivation, and stable isotope geochemistry.

Sippewissett Salt Marsh

View of the ponds where pink berries are found in Little Sippewissett Salt Marsh.