Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory

Microbial Ecology. From Discovery to Solutions.

Microbes are the unseen majority, inhabiting ecosystems as varied as the subsurface of the earth, soils, lakes, and even the human body.  We examine how the responses of microbial communities to environmental change affect ecosystem functioning, the sustainability of agriculture and our natural resources, and ultimately human health. We study how microbial communities adapt to new conditions, and whether different microbial communities may function in different ways. We examine the role of microbial community structure in ecosystem processes using a variety of molecular, microbiological and biogeochemical techniques.

Our aim is to advance our fundamental understanding of the ecology of microbes and apply that understanding to predict and mitigate climate change feedbacks, and to develop approaches to improve food security, environmental restoration, and human health. Specifically, we are applying our expertise in microbial ecology to develop sustainable means to improve crop productivity in the face of increased abiotic stress.

Soil Sampling in GreenlandImnavait CreekLaurel Lynch and Colin Bell

Recent Publications


Matthew David Wallenstein, PhD

Natural Resource Ecology Lab, B258
Colorado State University
1499 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins CO, 80523-1499
(970) 491 - 1623