Soils are complex, multi-organism systems that have become amenable to analysis through the expansion of post-genomic technologies into environmental genomics. Central my research is the need to understand the functional consequences of the interactions between biological complexity (e.g. bacteria, fungi, nematodes, etc.) and the management of the abiotic soil environment.
Over the last ten years, the importance of microorganisms in maintaining a sustainable biosphere has been widely recognized. This has resulted in a surge of activity in environmental microbiology, and the development of novel technologies to better interrogate the role of microorganisms in soil. Professor O'Donnell has used these techniques to investigate gene:environment interactions in a range of systems, including agricultural soils and contaminated land.
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