Welcome to the Louca lab at the University of Oregon in beautiful Eugene.
Our lab studies the ecology and evolution of Bacteria and Archaea, the most ancient and the most ubiquitous form of life on Earth.
Their metabolism drives biogeochemical fluxes in virtually every ecosystem and has shaped Earth's surface chemistry over billions of years.
In our lab we focus on how these microorganisms interact with their environment to drive biogeochemical fluxes and, reciprocally, how this interaction affects microbial diversity.
In addition, we are interested in understanding microbial evolutionary dynamics over geological time scales.
Our investigations span from the scales of single ecosystems, such as sediments at the bottom of a lake, all the way to global scales.
A particular effort of our work is to use our insight from modern ecosystems and extant microbial genomes to understand how microbial life evolved at planetary scales over billions of years.
Since the fossil record of microorganisms is rather sparse, we examine their macroevolution by analyzing the genomes of thousands of extant microbes.
We use a variety of approaches, ranging from experiments and field surveys to mathematical modeling and big data analyses.
Our lab is affiliated with the Department of Biology, the Institute of Ecology and Evolution and Oregon's Data Science Initiative.
Contact details of the lab's principal investigator, Stilianos Louca, are provided here.