What is microbial ecology?

Microbial ecology is the study of microbes in the environment and their interactions with each other. Microbes are the tiniest creatures on Earth, yet despite their small size, they have a huge impact on us and on our environment.

Microbial ecology can help answer some of our most practical questions such as "How can we improve our lives?" as well as basic questions such as "Why are we here?"

Microbial ecology can show us our place in the cosmos -- how life originated and how it evolved, and how we are related to the great diversity of all other organisms.

The study of microbial ecology can help us improve our lives via the use of microbes in environmental restoration, food production, bioengineering of useful products such as antibiotics, food supplements, and chemicals. The study of these bizarre and diverse creatures that are everywhere yet nowhere to be seen is fascinating and a pursuit that appeals to the curiousity and playfulness in us.

Most types of microbes remain unknown. It is estimated that we know fewer than 1% of the microbial species on Earth. Yet microbes surround us everywhere -- air, water, soil. An average gram of soil contains one billion (1,000,000,000) microbes representing probably several thousand species.

Topics in microbial ecology

To find out more about how microbes evolve, about their tremendous diversity, their ecology, their unusual habitats, their role in bioremediation, recycling, food production and biotechnology, check out the page topics in microbial ecology.



The Microbe may be minute, but this marvelous microbe and his minions affect us and our environment in many ways