Welcome to the Louca lab at the University of Oregon, in beautiful Eugene, Oregon.
Bacteria and Archaea, the smallest of all unicellular organisms, are the most ancient, the most widespread and the most ubiquitous form of life on Earth.
Their metabolism drives biogeochemical fluxes in virtually every ecosystem and has shaped Earth's surface chemistry over billions of years.
In our lab we study how these microorganisms interact with their environment through their metabolism to drive biogeochemical fluxes and, reciprocally, how this interaction affects microbial diversity.
Our investigations span from the scales of single ecosystems, such as sediments at the bottom of a lake, all the way to global scales.
A particular effort of our work is to use our insight from modern ecosystems to understand how microbial life evolved at planetary scales over billions of years.
Philosophically, our work is central to understanding the various layers at which Life has been organized since its very beginning, including individual genes, groups of genes (genomes) and groups of genomes (microbial communities).
Practically, our work helps design more accurate predictive models for natural and engineered ecosystems, such as the ocean, the human gut or biofuel production units.
One of the guiding principles of our lab is a tight integration of experiment and theory.
Hence, in addition to carefully conducted laboratory experiments and field surveys, our work relies heavily on computational analyses and mathematical modeling.
Stilianos Louca, the principal investigator, is starting as an Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon (UO), Department of Biology, in April 2019. Stilianos is also affiliated with the UO Institute of Ecology and Evolution.