The Ward Lab’s research examines community processes in aquatic microbial ecology, with a particular focus on algal-heterotroph interactions and their interplay with environmental drivers. Our research spans both natural and engineered ecosystems, including the Great Lakes, the coastal ocean, and algal cultivation ponds. We combine field observations, experimental manipulations, microbial culturing, and community sequencing/bioinformatics to understand the distributions and interrelationships of important microbial groups. We are also interested in the ecological theory of microbiomes and how it may be used to advance algal biofuel production and aquaculture.
Fisher CL, Ward CS, Kimbrel JA, Lane P, Stuart RK, Mayali X, Lane TW. (2019) Bacterial communities protect the alga Microchloropsis salina from grazing by the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis. Algal Research.
Kimbrel JA, Samo TJ, Ward CS, Nilson DJ, Thelen MP, Siccardi A, Zimba P, Lane TW, Mayali X. (2019) Host selection and stochastic effects influence bacterial community assembly on the microalgal phycosphere. Algal Research. 40:101489. doi:10:1016/j.algal.2019.101489
Duan Y, Xie N, Song Z, Ward CS, Yung C-M, Hunt DE, Johnson ZI, Wang G. (2018) High-resolution time-series reveal distinct seasonal patterns of planktonic fungi at a temperate coastal ocean site (Beaufort, North Carolina USA). Appl Environ Microbiol. 84(21). doi:10.1128/AEM.00967-18
Ward CS, Yung C-M, Davis KM, Blinebry SK, Williams TC, Johnson ZI, Hunt DE. (2017) Annual community patterns are driven by seasonal switching between closely related marine bacteria. ISMEJ 11, 1412-1422. doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.4
Yung C-M, Ward CS, Davis KM, Johnson ZI, Hunt DE. (2016) Insensitivity of diverse and temporally variable particle-associated microbial communities to bulk seawater environmental parameters. Appl Environ Microbiol. 82(11):3431–3437. doi:10.1128/AEM.00395-16
Hunt DE and Ward CS. (2015) A network-based approach to disturbance transmission through microbial interactions. Front Microbiol. 6:1182. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.01182
Ward CS, Pan J, Colman BP, Wang Z, Gwin C, Williams TC, Ardis A, Gunsch CK, Hunt DE. (2019) Conserved microbial toxicity responses for acute and chronic silver nanoparticle treatments in wetland mesocosms. Environ Sci Technol. 53(6):3268-3276. doi:10.1021/acs.est.8b06654