Sarah Sandor, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge
Hidden beneath the surface of every lake, river, stream and pond live trillions of diverse and ecologically important microorganisms. Invisible to the naked eye, these bacteria and fungi play a critical role in decomposing dead plant material and smaller biomolecules, such as cellulose, starch and peptides, that are washed into aquatic systems.
However, global climate change is altering the composition and quantity of organic matter that makes its way into freshwater. These changes are predicted to have widespread implications for the microbial communities that rely on these plant biomolecules for a source of food, as well as broader aquatic ecosystems.
In this talk, Sarah will explore the ecological function that these freshwater microbes play in the decomposition of plant material and within the global carbon cycle. She will also discuss some of her current research, where she is using an experimental evolution approach to grow artificial bacterial communities on multiple freshwater substrates in the lab to understand how the microbes adapt to different nutrient environments.
Science on Sundays
A programme of free, informal, monthly science talks bringing the latest discoveries in plant science, as well as research linked to the plant collection at CUBG to our visitors in a 30 minute nutshell.
We will be running these talks live from the Botanic Garden Classroom for those visiting the Garden on the day.
Please check the website and social media for updates.
Suitable for adults and children aged 12+
Talks run monthly March to July.