An Open Laboratory for Microbial Ecology

The rapidly falling cost of DNA sequencing has opened up exciting new approaches for studying microorganisms as natural communities. In principle, sample collection is easy; in practice the tools are primitive and expensive. We will present a few tools we’ve developed to allow researchers to design exciting new classes of experiments and studies.

Russell Neches

About Russell Neches (University of California, Davis)
Russell is a Microbiology Ph.D. student studying in Jonathan Eisen’s laboratory in the Genome Center at University of California, Davis. He is using high throughput environmental sequencing and phylogeographic modeling to study the planetary migration patterns of microbes. He is also very interested in developing hardware and software tools to make DNA sample collection, DNA sequencing and ecological analysis more accessible to the broader scientific community.

Meg Pirrung

About Meg Pirrung (University of Colorado)
Meg is a Computational Bioscience Ph.D. student in Rob Knight’s lab at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She is interested in software development, design, visualization of scientific data, and microbial ecology. She is also the lead developer of TopiaryExplorer, an application for connecting large phylogenetic trees to environmental metadata.