Our laboratory is focused on microbial ecology; that is, the interactions between microorganisms and their environments. This leads us to understanding how bacteria sense their environment, what metabolisms they use to sustain their multiplication, and how this influences the ecosystem in which they reside. We examine microbiomes in many different ecosystems, including human skin, organs and intestinal tracts, soils, plants, animals, as well as rivers, lakes and oceans. We have developed laboratory and bioinformatics tools to help us interrogate these systems, invoking systems biology principles to scale microbial processes from the cell to the ecosystem. This enables the development of predictive models that capture the central processes underpinning observed outcomes. In human health, our primary research focuses on the influence of surgical practice on the gut microbiome, the interaction between the gut microbiome and human behavior and neurological disease, and the assembly of the microbiome in infants and it’s influence on asthma, allergies and other childhood diseases.