Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Reader in Microbial Ecology



+44 (0)20 7594 2268thomas.bell




MunroSilwood Park




The Microbiome - LS-TM



Microbes are vital but understudied components of all ecosystems. Recent extraordinary advances in microbial ecology, fuelled by new sequencing technologies, have resulted in a rapidly expanding field that has implications for a deeper understanding of the natural world. Microbiome research also offers enormous potential for applications to a wide range of industries, including health, agriculture, and industrial processes.  The course will summarise the key microbial groups, and describe the ecological and evolutionary ideas that underlie our understanding of microbial communities.     


Course Leader

Ecology and Evolution - LS1-EE


  • To understand the processes by which the diversity of life on earth has arisen and is maintained
  • To recognize the different processes underpinning evolutionary change, including genetic mutation, drift, and natural selection.
  • To explore how the planet’s biological diversity is organized by ecological processes into ecosystems, communities, and populations, and to appreciate the interactions that bind and define these.
  • To understand the roles of observation, experimentation, and theory in building our knowledge base about the natural world.