Worms et al. 2021
Did you know that nematodes are the most abundant animals on Earth? That’s right, for every 5 animals out there, 4 are nematodes! Nematodes, or worms if you prefer, are quite spectacular in many other ways. They can live in any environment (e.g., soils, sediments, water, and tissues of others). You can find them at tops of highest mountains, bottoms of deepest oceans, lush tropics, and extreme deserts. Basically, you can travel around the world and find them wherever you go. They are incredibly diverse too (2–10 million species). In addition, they present diversity of morphological forms, feeding habits, and life strategies connecting them in multitude ways with their biotic and abiotic environment. Through their abundance, diversity, and connections, they tell us intriguing stories about entire ecosystems.
In our lab, our questions are generally centered around different aspects of nematode diversity and ecology. E.g., How do nematode communities assemble? What is nematode biogeography? How do nematodes relate to plants and microbes? How do nematodes affect ecosystem processes/functioning? How are nematodes affected by environmental change? To pursue these questions, we rely predominantly on -omics tools/technologies but we also use microscopy (nematodes are fun to look at!) and traditional molecular diagnostics. To help us better address our hypotheses, we include a variety of biological (e.g., plants and microbes) and biogeochemical measures. This allows us to form multidisciplinary teams and work together for the better future of science.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Department of Entomology and Nematology, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)
1881 Natural Area Dr
Gainesville, FL 32611