Interacting microbes are capable of implementing complex functions such as resistant starch degradation in human guts, denitrification of water in wastewater treatment or ABx tolerance in disease-related biofilms. To better understand and manage microbial functions we require understanding of the intrinsic and environmental factors that drive microbial community organization and shape collective, microbial functions. I will present my recent research on structure-function mapping performed on divers microbial communities from selected habitats. I will bridge between the predictability of environmental variation in river biofilms, the competition among functional guilds in the lung microbiome of persons with cystic fibrosis, the self-organisation of gut microbiota with heterogeneous memory capacity and the identification of predominant organization principles inferred from time-series data of microbial composition.
Dr. Stefanie Widder is a computational biologist, currently a senior fellow at the KLI and affiliated with the Medical University of Vienna. She is working on the systems biology of complex communities, in particular microbial consortia and gene regulatory networks. Her research aims at predictive understanding of complex community functions that find application in human health and related fields (e.g. Widder et al. ISMEJ 2016).