Welcome to the website of Ashley Shade's research team at Michigan State University!
Microbial communities (microbiomes) provide functions that are essential for ecosystems. In our research, we investigate the ecology and evolution of microorganisms within their communities. We want to understand how microbial communities respond to stress so that we can manage them to be stable and resilient.
We apply methods in environmental microbiology, molecular biology, and multi-'omics (metagenomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics) to investigate the ecology of microbiomes and understand their functions. We are interested in
the consequences of diversity for system stability and how microbial interactions influence community outcomes.
We currently study plant-associated microbiomes (root and leaf), soils impacted by a severe long-term disturbance (Centralia, PA coal seam fire), and member interactions within synthetic microbial communities.
keywords: microbial ecology and evolution, phytobiomes, plant-microbe-soil feedbacks, plant resilience, disturbance ecology, rarity, dormancy, temporal dynamics, environmental microbiology, microbial diversity, macroecology, 'Omics, extreme environments