Hey, I’m Tamar.
I completed my Master’s degree and continued to a Ph.D. while focusing on community assembly.
How communities come to be? It is a question asked by researchers across many disciplines.
It has been studied throughout history  to this day, involving sociology, economy, biology, and statistics and is dated back to ancient Greece, Rome, India, and China with the study of human demography. In ecology it has been studied as well for various reasons such as rehabilitating endangered herds, maximizing the growth of crops and introduction of new species (animal and plants) into new niches.
In macroorganism, these dynamics are easier to study merely for the fact that one can see them, touch them, follow them and keep a record of changes over time and space.
But what about microbial communities or microorganisms?
Microorganisms reside within various environments and niches affect our entire world. Setting motion to the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen cycles in nature.
We now know that microbes symbiotically interact with all living beings on earth and gut microbiome are an important example of such interaction; Animals co-evolved with microorganisms creating a symbiotic relationship that is essential for the animal host and its microbiome . The rumen microbiome presents a very nice example of such a relationship as it basically digests the ingested feed for its host and hence without it the host will not survive.
I study assembly process in the rumen in two different scales:
First, the creation of a new environment introduces a new niche to colonize, so the assembly of the rumen microbiome early in life is one of the essential processes to investigate.
Second is the process of community assembly on the plant fiber, the digestion of plant material by the rumen microbiome, which ruminants rely on in order to gain energy. Each fiber is a new micro-niche within the rumen and the microorganisms interact synergistically to degrade it.
I believe that similar and very general rules govern these two process, therefore, I am enthusiastic and crazy curious about the outcomes of my research.
For now, I have my seat back and tray table in their full upright position and I made sure that my seat belt is securely fastened.
So I am ready for take-off.
- Shrivastava, S., Studies in demography. 1980.
- Ley, R.E., et al., Worlds within worlds: evolution of the vertebrate gut microbiota. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 2008. 6(10): p. 776.