Jack A. Gilbert
Jack A. Gilbert is a microbial ecologist whose ongoing research is focused on exploring how microbial communities assemble themselves in natural and man-made environments. Jack’s interests include the use of ‘omics technologies (metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics, metametabolomics) and high-throughput sequencing to answer questions about microbial communities all over the world. He currently manages the Earth Microbiome Project, which is an ongoing effort to characterize the microbial diversity of our planet.
Jack also develops predictive models that help extrapolate our understanding of the microbial ecosystem function mediated by bacteria to the continental and global scale, and is spearheading an effort to include microbial ecosystem dynamics into global climate models. This is predicated on the understanding that microbes mediate the majority of the global CO2, NO, and CH4 cycles, and so by understanding how they do this we can better predict what the levels of these climate active gases will be in the future.
In addition to his duties at Argonne, Jack is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution, and Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago, where he runs two externally funded initiatives. The Home Microbiome Project that is exploring how humans interact with the bacteria living in their homes; and the Hospital Microbiome Project that is examining how adding patients and staff into a hospital building effects the development of microbial communities and important pathogens.