The Azam Lab studies the ecology of marine microbes, their diversity, and their population dynamics. Investigations include biochemical and molecular adaptations of bacteria for life in the ocean environment. In addition, the Azam Lab is examining the significance of bacteria and viruses in the structure and function of the microbial food web in the ocean. Of special interest to the Azam Lab is the role played by marine bacteria and viruses in the oceanic carbon cycle through their control of organic matter decomposition.
A major goal we have is the development of concepts and methods in the emerging field of microscale ecology and biogeochemistry of marine microbes. We are seeking to develop a unifying mechanistic framework for the role of microbes in ecosystem function and resilience, to help predict the response of the diverse ocean ecosystems to climate change.