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Annual ESA meeting

Virtual ESA 2020 Section Mixer Highlights

Why microbial ecology? Below are highlights from the Virtual ESA Microbial Ecology Section Mixer 2020 (in no particular order)

  • Life is an emergent property of microbes and they run the world!
  • We, microbial ecologists, may be interested in the role of microbes in plant, animal, and human hosts or we may be interested in ecosystem processes and the role of microbes in those processes. Regardless of how we got here, we enjoy the orchestra, mystery, and technological advancements used to study microbial ecology. We study microbes to ensure our existence and future existence in a more sustainable way. We study microorganisms to understand the missing links orchestrating the ecosystems and processes that govern our planet.
  • Microbes are the key to sustainability because they mediate global change, promote agricultural crop yields, disease resistance, and nutrient acquisition. Microbes giveth and microbes taketh away!
  • Microbes play a foundational, yet non-intuitive, role in the function and structure of all ecosystems, including free-living and host-associated systems.
  • Microbial ecology is a meeting of ecological and statistical disciplines that provides broad intellectual contributions to our understanding of pathogenicity, species concepts, biogeochemical cycles, biodiversity, and biogeography, as well as material consequences for climate change mitigation, land use change, and food security.
  • In some ways microbes provides a vehicle for teaching important ecological concepts.
  • Microbes are important for many ecosystem processes that we as humans are altering (carbon and nitrogen cycles). Teaching about microbes is important for helping people understand how hard it is to address these global scale problems.
  • Often, introductions into microbial ecology begin as a “side project”, but they are so inherent into the functions and dynamics of ecosystems and hosts, etc., and so a whole world opens up.
  • The unseen majority are invisible yet critical operators behind the scenes that have changed and are changing the way the world works. Microbes are resilient (they can survive in space!) and have numerous positive interactions.
  • Microbes are the engineers that control many of Earth’s life support systems. We don’t know how all the knobs and dials for those systems work yet! Learning about microbes is essential for our future!
  • Microbial communities are tractable way to show change in the natural world. But they are just as often the agents of change, and this is one of the main reasons to study them.

Annual ESA 2020 Meeting Details

The annual ESA 2020 meeting (virtual style) is coming up! The meeting runs from Monday, Aug 3 – Thursday, Aug 6. Register for the meeting here.

This year, we’ve compiled a list of ESA posters and talks that are all about microbial ecology! Click links below to see the lists:

2020 ESA ME-related Poster presentations

2020 ESA ME-related Oral presentations

In addition to the virtual meeting program, the ME section is organizing great events for our members!

(1) Microbial Ecology Poster Crawl!

Please join the virtual ESA 2020 Microbial Ecology Section poster crawl on Monday August 3 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm ET and on Thursday August 6 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm ET.

See schedule of poster talks here. Registration is required. Register for the poster crawl here.

(2) Ecology Underground

This year for ESA, the organizers and co-organizers of six Organized Sessions focused on plant, soil, and microbial ecology have teamed up to host a live set of talks and discussions: Ecology Underground 2020

When: August 4th and 5th

What: Talks will span observational, experimental and modelling frameworks

surrounding belowground ecology on day 1, with a special focus on roots and fungi on day 2

Check out the organization

We are excited for you to register!