Archaea were initially discovered due to their unique gene sequences, and entirely new archaeal phyla have been discovered through environmental metagenomics in the past decade. Analyzing sequence data thus has a long and storied history in archaea research, and is continuing to teach us about novel organisms and processes today. We use a combination of techniques to work out the ecological role of novel aquatic archaea.
Much of the work in the lab focuses on ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA; Thaumarchaeota; Nitrososphaeria; they have many names these days), including their physiology, genomics, and activity in the environment. (See the N cycling research page for more detail.)
In addition to AOA, we study yet-uncultivated clades of marine Euryarchaeota (“Marine Group II” and “Marine Group III”). This work started as a side project in the Hollibaugh Lab, collaborating with the Moran Lab (both at the University of Georgia), and continues through further analyses of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data. We are also exploring archaeal diversity and ecology in numerous aquatic ecosystems by analyzing existing sequence data or generating novels datasets, currently in collaboration with the Ottesen Lab at the University of Georgia and the McCormick Lab at Hamilton College.
Students involved: LaFramboise.
Relevant manuscripts: Damashek, Bayer et al. (in review), Damashek et al. 2021, Damashek, Edwardson et al. 2019.