Virginia P. Edgcomb
My lab studies microbial diversity and activities in oxygen-depleted and anoxic marine water columns and sediments using culture- and molecular-based approaches, and microscopy. We are particularly interested in protist communities, their role as predators, and symbioses that protists have with Bacteria and Archaea in these habitats. Protists are a group of single-celled eukaryotes that often play major roles in cycling of carbon and other nutrients in the ocean. An exciting part of our work is the development of new methodologies for querying these symbioses. Our study sites include permanently stratified water columns and sediments, oxygen minimum zones, and coastal sediments associated with shellfish aquaculture sites. In addition, my lab investigates the microbiology of the deep subsurface biosphere using samples obtained through the International Ocean Drilling Program.