Dr. Howe leads the Genomics and Environmental Research in Microbial Systems (GERMS) Laboratory. The goal of the GERMS Lab (www.germslab.org) is to understand and manage the impacts of microbiology as we continuously change the environment that we live in. Our research provides data that is needed to inform our decisions and policy by developing innovative scientific methods that detect and quantify microbial activity in the environment. Our broad interests include the production, resilience, and safety of food, energy, and water resources; the impacts of land management strategies; the connection of environmental and animal microbiomes; and the large-scale detection of biomarkers for environmental health. Our past and present research includes identifying microbial drivers of biogeochemical cycling and their response to climate change; understanding contributions of microbial genes, individuals, and groups to population function and dynamics; detection of antibiotic genes and pathogen biomarkers; scalability of increasingly large sequencing datasets through the application of advanced computational approaches; and leveraging high throughput, next-generation metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing to investigate interactions within environmental microbial communities.