Research in the Amaral Zettler laboratory explores patterns of microbial diversity and adaptation in extreme and marine environments. Current research objectives include understanding the environmental factors that help shape microbial community structure at the three-domain level and below. One of my long-term field sites focusing on Astrobiology research includes the acidic, heavy-metal laden Río Tinto (southwestern Spain)- a terrestrial analog for Mars. My NSF Biodiversity Survey and Inventories project called also explores three-domain diversity, but at a much larger scale in a biogeographic study that involves Microbial Inventory Research Across 13 Diverse Aquatic sites.
A second research theme explores the presence and persistence of human pathogens in the marine environment with an emphasis on the role of marine amoebae as vectors for emerging diseases as part of the . This research involves field work in Mount Hope Bay, MA and Lake Pontchartrain, LA.
I also serve as the Secretariat and education and outreach leader for the - one of 14 ocean realm projects in the in an international effort to census microbial life in the ocean.
Microbial diversity and population structure studies in the Río Tinto.