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K-State Today

September 23, 2021

Sarah Evans to present Division of Biology Seminar

Submitted by Division of Biology

Sarah Evans, assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Michigan State University, will present "How Does the Soil Microbiome Respond to Global Changes, and When Does It Matter for Ecosystems?" as part of the Division of Biology Seminar Series at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27, in 221 Ackert Hall.

The soil microbiome is a complex array of interacting species whose roles include powering earth's biogeochemical cycles, maintaining soil and agricultural services, and increasing resilience of your favorite animal host to climate change. Although we know microbial physiology and community ecology underlies many of these processes, it has been challenging to link the biological processes to large-scale services, and understand how both are threatened by global change. Evans will discuss how microbes respond to global changes, and when this might alter ecosystem processes we care about. Evans focuses on changes in rainfall and water availability — including drought, altered rainfall timing and long-term irrigation — in both managed and unmanaged systems, but will touch on other aspects of land use, and the role of microbes in both carbon and nitrogen cycling. Evans hopes to show you that much like the human microbiome, the soil microbiome is complex, diverse and fascinating, and understanding its fundamental ecology will be key for managing climate, conserving biodiversity and maintaining ecosystem services.

If you would like to visit with Evans, please contact Matthew Nieland at nielandm@k-state.edu