Karna Gowda

Mentor Faculty
Assistant Professor
Department of Microbiology


Research Description:

My lab merges theory, experiment, and statistical learning to build new conceptual bridges between disparate scales in microbial ecological systems. Microbial communities are the engines that drive the biosphere, playing critical biochemical roles in ecosystems and hosts, from soils to oceans to the human gut. The activities of a community emerge from the collective action of its many constituent parts: molecules, genes, taxa, networks of ecological interactions, and environmental context. Understanding these systems to an extent that allows us to predict how natural communities will respond to climate change and design consortia for the benefit of human health requires developing new languages for coming to grips with the staggering complexity. Just as mathematics has proven an unreasonably effective language in the physical sciences, the combination of quantitative experimental approaches with mathematical reasoning points a way forward to deciphering the biospheres most complex phenomena.

  • Ph.D., Applied Mathematics, Northwestern University, 2017

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