Microorganisms, although amongst the smallest players in ecosystems, have major impact on all organization levels from the species to the biosphere. Throughout my career I have been fascinated by the mechanisms that govern the interaction between microbes and their animal hosts. My key interest is to unravel the ecological and molecular foundations of host-microbe interplay and to develop tools to study that. In my current research, I’m investigating how the spatial ecology of host-associated microbiota affects their ability to protect us against pathogens. Therefore, I iteratively map and manipulate the spatial microbiome organisation within the gut landscape to assay its impact on colonisation resistance. The pursued approach combines imaging and bioinformatics using the pathogen model Salmonella enterica. Ultimately, this aims to provide new basic insights guiding the rational design of beneficial microbial communities to improve health outcomes.
The Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP)