Research group

Garrido-Oter Group

Exploring the ecology and evolution of host-associated microbial communities

Group activities.

In the Garrido-Oter group, we explore the evolutionary and ecological principles that govern the structure and dynamics of complex microbial communities, in particular those associated with photosynthetic organisms, such as land plants and terrestrial microalgae.

In this context, we focus on two main research questions:

  1. what are the principles that govern microbiota establishment, stability and dynamics and,
  2. how adaptation occurs in a community context, where multipartite microbe-microbe as well as host-microbe interactions exert selective pressure in all interacting partners.

To address these questions, we develop and apply reductionist experimental approaches and computational tools. Using tractable experimental systems based on large-scale microbial culture collections we aim at developing a mechanistic understanding of how microbiota members interact with each other and with their host. Our ultimate goal is to reveal fundamental, quantitative principles governing the dynamic behaviour of host-associated microbial communities.

Our group works both at the Earlham Institute and at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany. We form an international and highly interdisciplinary group, including molecular biologists, ecologists, computer scientists, and engineers.

In addition to our host Institutes, our research is funded by the European Research Council, the German Research Foundation, and the Max Planck Society.

Anyone interested in undertaking a PhD or Postdoctoral role in our labs is encouraged to get in touch:

Visit our vacancies page for the latest opportunities in our group.