Keystone Symposia: Microbial Communities as Drivers of Ecosystem Complexity

Venue: Beaver Run Resort

Location: Breckenridge, Colorado, United States

Event Date/Time: Mar 25, 2011 End Date/Time: Mar 30, 2011
Registration Date: Mar 25, 2011
Early Registration Date: Jan 25, 2011
Abstract Submission Date: Nov 23, 2010
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Microorganisms, by their omnipresence, impact the entire biosphere, including the human body. Microbial ecology studies the interactions between members of microbial communities (assemblage of microorganisms that share the same environment) using a panoply of biological and bioinformatics tools. The field of microbial ecology has made substantial strides with the advent of molecular microbiology and has fully embraced high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies. When Joshua Lederberg coined the term human microbiome, he had an ecological analogy in mind (“to signify the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space and have bee all but ignored as determinants of health and disease”). The studies of the human microbiome and the environment are both characterizing key microbial interactions but appear to act independently from one another.

The main purpose of the symposium is to assemble the leaders in the field of environmental microbial ecology and the human microbiome to stimulate interaction and collaboration. Session topics will address every aspect of the study of microbial communities, from microbial surveys, bioinformatics, transcriptomics, proteomics and community modeling. Each session will include speakers studying environmental communities and the human microbiome.

The interactive nature of this symposium will spur collaborations and a better integration of these two similar fields of study.