American Academy of Microbiology Climate Change & Microbes Scientific Portfolio
The American Academy of Microbiology (Academy), the honorific leadership group and scientific think tank at ASM, works to recognize scientists for outstanding contributions to microbiology and provide microbiological expertise in the service of science and the public. Currently, climate change is an eminent global threat to human existance. Many researchers in and outside of the microbial sciences have raised concerns and called for definitive actions urgently. To address this momentous challenge, the Academy created a 5-year scientific portfolio to focus on promoting the understanding of the relationship between microbes and climate change and building a scientific framework to inform climate change policies and market innovations.
Understanding Relationships of Climate Change & Microbes
Over the next 5 years, the Academy will conduct a series of activities to broaden the scientific understanding about climate change and microbes. As a first step, the Academy released the report Microbes and Climate Change - Science, People & Impacts to provide a foundation for current knowledge while highlighting knowledge gaps leading to recommendations for research priorities, policy considerations and societal recommendations to combat microbial injustice.
- "Microbes and Climate Change - Science, People & Impacts."
- "FAQ: Microbes and Climate Change."
- "Incorporating Microbial Processes Into Climate Models."
- mBio editoral "Microbes and Climate Change: a Research Prospectus for the Future."
- Task force member Dr. Mallory Choudoir on "Meet the Microbiologist: Microbial Culture Collections and the Soil Microbiome."
- Task force member Dr. James Tiedje on "Decadal Shifts in Microbial Ecology."
- mBio editoral "Our Health, Our Action, Our Planet—a Call to Action for Microbiologists To Engage in Climate Research."
- Climate Change & Microbes mini-conference at Microbe 2022.
The relationship between climate change and microbes constantly evolves and is not often examined in the context of human well-being. This portfolio aims to understand the trio’s dynamic by bringing together experts in different fields to discuss and build a scientific framework to support the academic, policy and business communities to take actions in various areas to tackle climate change.
The 5 main scientific focuses for the scientific portfolio on climate change are the following:
- Highlight microbes' role in planetary carbon atmospheric flows and their utilization in bioprocesses to reduce CO2 emissions.
- Explore interventions to reduce exposure to harmful microbes and maintain ecosystems that limit exposure to zoonotic diseases.
- Understand the role of microbial communities in environmentally sustainable agricultural systems and soil health.
- Study the science and technology behind the use of microbes as greener solutions, such as biofuels and bioenergy, and address the scientific barriers to help accelerate the transfer of the technology in market solutions.
- Identify infrastructural resources and gaps in data collection and curation and support collaborations in data sharing to improve understanding, prediction, and management.
The scientific portfolio also aims to urge researchers worldwide and in diverse disciplines to respond and develop solutions for the climate crisis that threatens our environment and human lives in a timely manner. A scientific advisory task force composed of reserachers from diverse disciplines provides oversight and guidance on the scientific direction of the scientific portfolio. The Academy invities all those interested in contributing to scientific portfolio activities to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- Host a series of colloquia with experts in diverse areas of expertise to study these issues in more detail to gain more in-depth knowledge on the scientific topics
- Conduct scientific meetings to inform the scientific community about these topics and mobilize the scientific interest in this area
- Publish reports, strategy, guidance, etc. to support scientific objectives
- Support the translation of scientific insights into policy recommendations
- Establish communities of practice to support continual sharing and collaborations
- Support the transfer of new scientific findings and technologies into practical and commercialized solutions