Ia2011 microbiome nazaroff postable
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Ia2011 microbiome nazaroff postable

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Ia2011 microbiome nazaroff postable Ia2011 microbiome nazaroff postable Presentation Transcript

  • Newton Meets Darwin at the Indoor Microbiome William W Nazaroff Civil & Environmental Engineering Dept. University of California, Berkeley Microbiomes of Built Environments Indoor Air 2011 Austin, Texas, USA Isaac Newton (1643-1727) 8 June 2011 Charles Darwin (1809-1882)Image sources: nndb.com; treehugger.com; summitpediatrics.blogspot.com; h2it.org; jaymecarleton.org; housevaluequotes.com 1
  • Scope• Observations about collaborative research• Attributes of successful joint efforts• Collaborating on indoor microbiome: Opportunities and challenges• My background (mostly Newtonian!): – Physics (BA), EECS (MEng), environmental engineering science (PhD) – Civil & Environmental Engineering faculty since 1989 – Involved in many collaborative projects & programs (small teams and large) – Chaired Energy & Resources Group at Berkeley for 4 y 2
  • The inspiration behind the talk’s title … Physicists and ecologists approach their crafts from different intellectual traditions, as exemplified by the differing values they attach to the search for simplification and universality. As a particle theorist by training, currently engaged in the study of ecology and global change, I have witnessed dysfunctional consequences of this bimodal legacy. I argue here for a synthesis of what I call the Newtonian and Darwinian approaches to science.Source: John Harte, Physics Today (October 2002). 3
  • Harte’s description of our “bimodal legacy” Physics Ecology The more you look, The more you look, the simpler it gets the more complex it gets Primacy of initial conditions Primacy of contingency and complex historical factors Universal patterns; Weak trends; search for laws reluctance to seek laws Predictive (quantum mechanics Mostly descriptive, explanatory notwithstanding) Central role for idealized systems Disdain for caricatures of nature (e.g., PV = nRT)Source: John Harte, Physics Today (October 2002). 4
  • Harte: Elements of a synthesis • Simple, falsifiable models (*) • Search for patterns and laws • Embrace the science of place (†) (*) It is the mark of an instructed (†) Place-centered studies mind to rest satisfied with the degree provide the best means we of precision which the nature of the have for going beyond pattern subject permits and not to seek an to process — for identifying the exactness where only an actual mechanisms at work. approximation of the truth is — Harte possible. — AristotleSources: John Harte, Physics Today (October 2002); Consider a Spherical Cow (1988). 5
  • Does Harte’s analysis apply to indoor microbiome?• Newton and Darwin don’t live here.• The indoor environment research community Health operates at the intersection of three domains Buildings Environment• These domains have independent intellectual traditions and professional communities Indoor environments 6
  • Observations about collaborative research • “Multidisciplinary” is a woefully inadequate term to describe the multifaceted and richly nuanced nature of collaborations involving researchers from different backgrounds. Humanities Social Sciences Natural Sciences Biochemistry Comparative Religious Molecular and Cell Biology Literature Studies Chemistry Psychology Integrative Biology Rhetoric Economics Ecology Language Music Classics Sociology Geology Studies Anthropology Art History Demography Atmospheric Science History Political Physics American Science Mathematics Studies Statistics Film An Academic PhylogeneticTree (conceptual) 7
  • Observations about collaborative research • Successful collaborations seem to occur more often in small groups (2-3 senior investigators) rather than in large teams (*) (*) Some possible reasons: High transaction costs for rich communication; high personal responsibility in small teamsImage sources: collaborationblog.org; ctit.utwente.nl 8
  • Some key ingredients of successful collaborations • High level of mutual trust and respect (*) • Commitment to teach and to learn w/ patience & persistence • Generousness in sharing credit • Strengths of one complements weaknesses of other • High dose of student involvement (Harte’s “gluons”) (*) On mutual respect →Comic source: xkcd.com 9
  • Indoor microbiome: Opportunities • DNA-based measurement methods are game changing • Sloan Foundation funding is good: quantity and quality • Fundamental and seminal improvements in understanding the relationship between indoor environmental quality and human well being appear within reachFigure source: A Spor et al., Nature Reviews Microbiology 9, 279, 2011. 10
  • Indoor microbiome: Some challenges • Do we know enough to ask the right questions? • Will the support be adequate to sustain a longer-term effort? • Are we sufficiently iconoclastic to counteract academic inertia? D Altshuler et al., A haplotype map of the M Ezzati et al., Selected major risk factors and human genome, Nature 437, 1299, 2005; global and regional burden of disease, Lancet 2369 citations. 360, 1347, 2002; 870 citations. Well-cited genomics paper. Most cited “indoor*” paper, ever.Figures from ISI Web of Science. 11
  • Newtonian indoor microbiome collaboration Jing Qian, Naomichi Yamamoto, Nina Hospodsky, Postdoctoral scholar Postdoctoral scholar PhD candidate Jordan Peccia, PI Yale University,Chemical Engineering Hamid Rismani-Yazdi, Kyle Bibby, Bill Nazaroff, Postdoctoral scholar PhD student UC Berkeley 12
  • Collaboration is producing fruit, after 3 y…• Research team synthesizes relevant expertise: — Modern, DNA-based analytical methods applied to bioaerosols (Peccia lab) — Aerosol dynamics, especially in indoor environments (Nazaroff)• Research articles in late stages of preparation prior to journal submission: — J Qian et al., Size distributed emission rates of airborne bacteria and fungi in indoor air due to occupancy. — D Hospodsky et al., Dense human occupancy as a source of indoor airborne bacteria. — N Yamamoto et al., Particle size distributions and seasonal concentrations of selected airborne fungi in the northeastern United States. 13
  • Berkeley Indoor Microbial Ecology Research Center Steven Lindow Rachel Adams, (PMB) John Taylor (PMB) Postdoctoral scholar Tom Bruns, PI (PMB) Gary Anderson Ed Arens Allen Goldstein Bill Nazaroff Seema Bhangar, (LBNL) (Arch) (ESPM) (CEE) Postdoctoral scholar 14
  • Newton met Darwin at the scientists’ Last Supper! Dawkins Einstein Edison Curie Tyson Hawking Oppenheimer Pasteur Sagan Galileo Aristotle Darwin Newton But, with this seating arrangement, did they get a chance to talk?Source: sciencewallpaper.com (Nick Farrantello) 15