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Jeff Gore, professor of physics at MIT, seated in front of a chalkboard wearing a collared shirt and suit jacket.

'Simple predictive rules in microbial community assembly': Berg Lecture 2024

By Arie Henry

Imagine the ability to predict, from the convenience of your lab, what happens when microbial communities are hit by environmental stressors. Jeff Gore, award-winning professor of physics at MIT, does just that.

Join us May 28, 2024, as he discusses his remarkable research at the second annual Berg Lecture: “Simple predictive rules in microbial community assembly: From the lab to the world’s oceans.”

Microbial communities, with their complex interactions and diverse species, play crucial roles in both human health and environmental sustainability. Gore's research aims to predict how these communities initially assemble and how they change due to stressors, using experimentally tractable approaches to discern the rules governing microbial community assembly and function.

By employing innovative techniques, Gore and his team have demonstrated the predictive power of simple theoretical models in understanding how microbial communities respond to environmental stressors.

Gore's expertise is evidenced by his groundbreaking research on transient invaders and their impact on ecosystem dynamics. Through experiments with bacterial populations, Gore and his colleagues have elucidated how even short-lived species can trigger profound shifts in community structure, offering valuable lessons for understanding and managing complex ecosystems.

This engaging and thought-provoking lecture will expand your understanding of microbial communities and their implications for our world. Don't miss this opportunity to hear from one of the leading minds in the field.

(from Quanta magazine:) In this video, Gore characterizes multi-species communities, and how leveraging the study of physics can contributes to a better understanding of the intricate dynamics those communities exhibit.

Gore joined the MIT Physics Department as an Assistant Professor in January 2010 after spending the previous three years in the department as a Pappalardo Fellow working with Alexander van Oudenaarden. With the support of a Hertz Graduate Fellowship, in 2005 he received his Ph.D. from the Physics Department at the University of California, Berkeley. His graduate research in single-molecule biophysics was done in the laboratory of Carlos Bustamante, focusing on the study of twist and torque in single molecules of DNA. The Gore Lab studies how interactions between individuals determine the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of multi-species microbial communities. Of particular focus are alternative stable states, community assembly, cross-feeding, and the emergence of "cheater" strategies.

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