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Microbial Ecology Hybrid Event Featured

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International Hybrid Symposium on Microbial Ecology

8 March 10h00

In the leadup to the ISME conference, which will take place in Lausanne (Switzerland) in August 2022 (, we will hold several hybrid events on Microbial Ecology. You’re invited to join the first UP-ISME session on Tuesday, March 8th, at 10 am. The event will be opened by ISME President Prof. Nicole Dubilier. The session will include talks by two prominent international speakers, Prof. Lynne Boddy (Cardiff University, UK) and Prof. Colin Murrell (University of East Anglia, UK). Please see details below (speaker profiles attached).

The event is open to everyone. Please indicate your preference for in person vs online attendance by completing the google form ( Note that, due to capacity issues, in person attendance is restricted. 



Fungus wars : antagonistic mycelial interaction

Lynne Boddy (Cardiff University, UK)

Fungi are rarely found growing alone in nature but usually in communities with other fungi, and also with bacteria and invertebrates. Since they are all competing for space and resources, antagonistic interactions are the norm – fungi fight each other! They ‘attack’ and ‘defend’ their territory in different ways: (1) antagonism at a distance; (2) hyphal interference; (3) mycoparasitism; and (4) gross mycelial interaction. They employ a chemical arsenal of enzymes, volatile and diffusible organic compounds. Aggressive interactions are often the main reason for changes in fungal communities, but increasing/decreasing stresses and disturbance have major roles too.

Ecology of isoprene degrading bacteria- a missing link in an important biogeochemical cycle

Colin Murrell, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Isoprene is a climate-active, organic compound that is released into the atmosphere in similar quantities to that of methane, making it one of the most abundant trace volatiles. Large amounts of isoprene, a climate active gas, are produced by trees but also by microbes, including algae in the marine environment. We have been studying bacteria that grow on isoprene using a soluble diiron centre monooxygenase which is similar to soluble methane monooxygenase. Our studies on the physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology of aerobic isoprene degrading bacteria have enabled us to develop molecular ecology tools to examine these bacteria in the environment. Functional gene probing, DNA-stable isotope probing, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics experiments show that isoprene-degrading bacteria are widespread in soils, leaf surfaces and estuarine sediments and that they are likely to play a major role in the metabolism of isoprene before it escapes to the atmosphere. 


UP - ISME Speakers

Lynne Boddy is Professor of Fungal Ecology at Cardiff University UK. She has taught and researched into the ecology of fungiLynne Boddy is Professor of Fungal Ecology at Cardiff University UK. She has taught and researched into the ecology of fungi associated with trees and wood decomposition for 40 years. She is currently studying the fascinating communities of fungi and other organisms that rot the centres of old trees, the ash dieback fungus that is rampaging across the UK from Europe, the ways in which fungi fight each other and form communities, how they search the forest floor for food resources and respond to their finds, and how climate change is affecting fungi. She is a prolific author having co-authored “Fungal Decomposition of Wood” and “The Fungi”, her most recent (early 2021) being “Fungi and Trees: their Complex Relationships”, and the children’s book “Humongous Fungus”. She has edited six books, published over 300 scientific papers, and is chief editor of the journal Fungal Ecology. She was (2009–2010)president of the British Mycological Society. Lynne is an ardent communicator of the mysteries and importance of the amazing hidden kingdom of Fungi to the general public including TV, radio, popular talks, videos, articles and exhibitions. She was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2019 for Services to Mycology and Science Outreach.

Lab web page:


Colin Murrell is Director of the Earth and Life Systems Alliance at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. He has wide rangingColin Murrell is Director of the Earth and Life Systems Alliance at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. He has wide ranging research interests centred round the bacterial metabolism of methane and other one carbon compounds and isoprene. He has pioneered work on the physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics and ecology of trace gas-utilising bacteria, and development of molecular ecology techniques such as functional gene probing and DNA Stable Isotope Probing. His research over the past 40 years has resulted in ~350 publications and six edited books and he has supervised over 60 PhD students. Murrell was a founder member of the Editorial Board of the ISME Journal and is currently on the Editorial Board of Environmental Microbiology. He was President ofISME from 2016-2018 and currently serves on their Executive Advisory Board. He has Chaired Gordon Research Conferences on C1Metabolism and Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Murrell was elected Member of EMBO in 2014 and Member of the European Academy of Microbiology in 2015. He is a current ERC Advanced Grant holder, serves as member of the SAB of the Max Planck Institute (Marburg) and the Governing Council of the John Innes Centre.

Lab web page:



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