Welcome to the Laboratory for Microbial and Environmental Genomics (micro-omics). Invisible to the naked eye, microbes are the most abundant organisms on earth, yet the extent of their diversity and influence remains largely unknown. Our laboratory explores the distribution, diversity, and evolution of microbes in aquatic ecosystems. In particular, we are interested in how ecosystem change (e.g., pollution, eutrophication, habitat loss, and climate change) impacts natural systems. We view microbes as nature’s first responders, and to measure the impact of ecosystem change, we use microbes as biological indicators. Currently, we are investigating how marine microbial communities respond to plastic pollution and sewage pollution. These pervasive contaminants adversely impact coastal ecosystems through habitat loss and the disruption of marine food webs. Research outcomes include habitat restoration and conservation. We also endeavor to understand the connections between ocean health and human health. For this purpose, we investigate the ecology and pathogenesis of bacteria belonging to the Vibrio genus, which contains several pathogens (e.g. V. cholerae, V. vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus).