Our Research

Uses model microbial communities to understand the structure and function of soil, plant root, and human gut microbiomes.

Our Approach

Applies metagenomics, genetics, and small molecule chemistry, to study biochemistry and genetic regulation of antibiotic production, microbial diversity, antibiotic resistance, and symbioses in communities in soil, on plant roots, and in the human gut. We developed a three-species model community to study the nature of community robustness, invasion processes, and emergent properties of microbial communities, named THOR for “The Hitchhikers of the Rhizosphere.”

The Handelsman Lab also houses the Tiny Earth Chemistry Hub, a research center focused on expanding the work of Tiny Earth and finding novel antibiotic compounds.