|Address:||G5703, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building (YEUNG),
City University of Hong Kong,
Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Professor & Director
Division of Science
Yale-National University of Singapore College, Singapore
Dispersal is a critical yet poorly understood factor underlying macroecological patterns in microbial communities. Airborne microbial transport is assumed to occupy a central role in determining dispersal outcomes and extra-range dispersal has important implications for predicting ecosystem resilience and response to environmental change. In this presentation I will describe recent advances in the field of atmospheric microbiology and consider the confidence with which it is possible to characterize an aerosphere microbiome. The atmosphere has also undergone unprecedented physico-chemical forcing due to anthropogenic emissions, and I will therefore discuss potential trajectories for microbial response to atmospheric change.
Professor Stephen (Steve) Pointing has spent over twenty years conducting research that addresses fundamental questions in microbial biogeography, the science of understanding spatial and temporal distributions for microbial life. Major research projects have addressed patterns of microbial diversity in response to extreme environmental stress and airborne dispersal of microorganisms over intercontinental distances. He has published some of the pivotal findings in his field including several articles in prestigious journals such as Nature, Nature Microbiology, Nature Reviews Microbiology and PNAS. Professor Pointing is also an award-winning teacher, with extensive experience in leading innovative pedagogy and curriculum reform for diverse undergraduate and graduate programmes in the environmental and life sciences. Professor Pointing has been particularly active in science outreach and he has made over 200 television and radio appearances commenting on environmental issues.