How we are organised
The UK has unparalleled collections of living organisms and museum specimens from which holobiont data have not been characterised. Vast sequencing efforts, spurred by new omics technologies, have caught microbes as 'bycatch' in sequencing projects of multicellular organisms, and offer an unprecedented glimpse into the genetic and chemical associations between microbes and their hosts. There has also been a dramatic expansion of experimental methods for tailoring bespoke holobionts.
The Leverhulme Centre for the Holobiont has been structured around these timely opportunities, identifying prominent complementary institutions that could contribute to each component. We are always looking for new partners and opportunities for collaboration and growth.
Who we are
Professor Tom Bell is Director of the Centre and Professor of Microbial Ecology at Imperial College London. Professor Bell's research has focused on understanding the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of bacteria in natural environments using a combination of field experiments and laboratory studies.
His research has focused particularly on using 'natural microecosystems' for identifying the general principles of microbial ecology. By creating miniature worlds (microcosms) in the laboratory, he has shown how it is possible to start to piece together the way these complex communities operate. Microbial ecology, environmental microbiology, plant-microbe interactions.