2021 Marine & Terrestrial Microbiome Virtual Symposium

Frontiers in Tropical Marine and Terrestrial Microbial Ecology

March 24–25 2021
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Panama City, Panama
Organized by Matthieu Leray & Allen Herre

Download the Workshop Agenda and Abstracts


This symposium aimed to summarize our current understanding of four interconnected themes that run through on-going work in tropical marine and terrestrial host-microbial interactions and their evolution. Despite addressing many related general questions, too often researchers who study microbial evolutionary ecology in either terrestrial or marine environments are only vaguely aware of each other’s paradigms, results, and ongoing studies. Given the increasingly clear, interconnected threats to biological diversity, ecosystem functions, and human health, it is essential that we understand the roles that fungi, bacteria, archaea and viruses play in them. There can be no question that both descriptive and functional knowledge are critical for any success in applied efforts aimed at natural habitat restoration or overall sustainability.

Twenty-seven researchers outlined what they consider to be important current knowledge in their fields, the outstanding questions, and key next steps for both basic and applied research. Throughout this symposium, the speakers emphasized the profound effects that microbiomes exert on species and functional diversity across all levels of biological organization in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Symposium funding was generously provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Simons Foundation.