Dr. Seppe Kuehn has joined E&E as an Assistant Professor and a core member of UChicago’s Center for Physics and evolving systems. Dr. Kuehn started July 1, 2020, after six years at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Sequencing technologies have revolutionized our understanding of the structure of microbial ecosystems in oceans, soils, lakes and higher organisms. While sequencing reveals a taxonomic and genomic “parts list” for microbial communities, a grand challenge remains: how and why do these parts assemble into dynamic, interacting and functional ecosystems? In short, can we understand why specific genomic or taxonomic associations are present in microbial communities? How do these associations drive metabolic function, species-species interactions, and ecosystem stability? My research program takes on these questions using sophisticated laboratory-based measurements and statistical analysis of genomic variation on functional microbial communities isolated from natural environments. I am focusing on three microbial systems to discover the principles by which genomes drive metabolic function (denitrification), interactions (phototroph-heterotroph communities) and ecosystem stability (self-sustaining closed ecosystems).
Welcome, Dr. Kuehn!