Through metagenomics it is now affordable and technically highly feasable to reconstruct tenths to hundreds of genomes from a few grams of environmental sample. This has revolutionized microbial ecology in terms of our ability to infer how microbial communities are structured. This also give us the opportunity to test hypothesis related to one of the most fundamental questions in ecology: Why are organisms distributed the way they are on Earth?
Clearly, as all organisms have power demands, power supplies to a system must constrain population sizes and hence community structure. In the Dahle Group we try to develop hypothesis about connections between energy fluxes, diversity and community composition based on modelling and simulatons. Furthermore, we try to test these hypothesis by quantify connections between chemical energy and life in natural environments, such as hydrothermal systems, using metagenomics, chemical analyses, and thermodynamic considerations.