"The Life We Cannot See: The Role of Microbes in Health and Disease"
Nearly all plants and animals, including humans, are host to complex communities of invisible microbes, known as the microbiome, that live in and on them. Some of these microbes can cause disease, but many of these microbes are beneficial and perform critical roles for their host, including nutrient acquisition, development, immune system priming, and defense against infection by pathogens and parasites. These microbes produce and send chemical messages that interact with other microbes and their host, and vice versa, the host’s signaling molecules can influence the structure and function of the microbiome. In this talk, I will discuss my research on amphibian and honey bee microbiomes and disease, as well as my life journey while pursuing this research.