Microcosm Spring 2022

Microcosm Digital Magazine - Spring 2022

In this issue of Microcosm, we explore the intersection between water-dwelling microbes, human health and climate change. Dive in for articles about coral reef microbiomes, waterborne diseases, the (re)emergence of microbes from melting glaciers and more.

Letter From the Editor

ASM's membership magazine has undergone many changes over the years since its inception. Explore the history of Microcosm with Stanley Maloy, the magazine's editor in chief.

Microbes and Meltwater

Melting glaciers don’t only impact human communities; they also reshape microbial life. Could viruses, bacteria and fungi that have been buried for hundreds of thousands of years once again see the sun?

Beware the Plastics

Plastic is a health hazard to marine animals, a potential toxin to humans and a disruptive presence to seaborne commerce. What role can the microbiology community play in helping to ameliorate, and ultimately solve, this challenge?

A close-up look at hundreds of microplastic particles.

Symbiosis on the Reef: Healthy Relationships Under Stress

Coral reefs are among the world’s most beautiful and biodiverse ecosystems. What do stressors, like climate change, ocean acidification and overfishing, mean for life on the reef?

Meet the Microbiologist: Shark Epidermis Microbiome with Elizabeth Dinsdale

Sharks’ epidermises are covered in dermal denticles—overlapping tooth-like structures that help sharks to move quickly and quietly through the water. How can metagenomic sequencing provide information about the function of the sequenced microbes found in the underlaying mucus layer of shark epidermises?

Waterborne Diseases in a Changing Climate

Water is considered the universal solvent for biological life. How can environmental changes and extreme weather events impact the spread of waterborne diseases?

Is Your Water Safe to Drink? Ask the Microbes

While invisible to the naked eye, seemingly clear water can be full of microorganisms that are not safe to drink. How can water-testing kits serve as educational tools that demonstrate best practices for identifying safe drinking water?

What's Hot Table of Contents

From new insights into antimicrobial resistance to how shipwrecks contribute to microbial diversity on the ocean floor, read all about what's hot in the microbial sciences.

Find links to recent Microcosm issues and as well as downloadable PDFs.

Explore the latest groundbreaking research in the microbial sciences, stay up-to-date with what's happening at ASM and read cutting edge scientific articles in Microcosm, ASM's flagship, members-only magazine.

Editor in Chief

Stanley Maloy, Ph.D.

San Diego State University

Managing Editor

Aleea Khan

Production Editor

Leah Potter


Ashley Hagen, M.S.

Geoff Hunt, Ph.D.

Ashley Jones Robbins, MELP

Stephen Ornes

Leah Potter

Rodney E. Rohde, Ph.D.


Steven Finkel, Ph.D.

University of Southern California


Colleen Kraft, M.D., M.Sc.

Emory Medical Laboratories


Timothy J. Donohue, Ph.D.

University of Wisconsin


Marylynn Yates, Ph.D.

University of California


Stefano Bertuzzi, Ph.D.

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Catherine Ort-Mabry


ASM Connect

Network with your peers, exchange ideas, collaborate, mentor and learn.