Scientists who will work in the Biological and Environmental Program Integration Center (BioEPIC) seek to revolutionize understanding of how microbes interact with soils and plants to influence the environment. Microbial communities play key roles in all parts of ecosystems, from the aquifers that store our water, to the plants that give us fuel, food, and fiber, and across entire watersheds that influence Earth’s climate through water, carbon, and nutrient cycles. Understanding these complex interactions across temporal scales – from nanoseconds to decades – and across spatial scales – from molecules to ecosystems – will enable solutions to urgent environmental, food, water, and energy challenges.
“Microbial communities are key drivers of biogeochemical cycles; microbes influence nitrogen fixation, carbon uptake, plant growth, and other processes. By better quantifying, predicting, and engineering these processes, we open the door to powerful new solutions for managing carbon, developing sources of sustainable bioenergy, and protecting the environment.”
“Development of fabricated ecosystems, novel sensors, computer models, and cyberinfrastructure is underway to transform our ability to seamlessly quantify and predict soil-microbe-plant interactions that are key to ecosystem functioning and climate resilience. To better understand how microbes function in the real-world systems we rely on for food, fuel, and clean water, BioEPIC will bridge the gap and virtually connect experiments between the laboratory, testbed, and field.”
Earth & Environmental Sciences Area
April 18-22, 2022
Celebrate the anchor tenants of the new BioEPIC building. Check out the photo essays below, and download Zoom backgrounds here.
BioEPIC Research Slam | April 20, 2022
Learn about the BioEPIC Research SLAM.
BioEPIC research will be housed in a state-of-the-art 73,000 square-foot facility at Berkeley Lab. Scientists are working to develop and integrate fabricated ecosystems, sensors, data science tools, and computer models that improve understanding and prediction of plant-soil-microbe interactions.
Groundbreaking took place in October 2021. Go here for construction updates.
Watch the live construction webcam here.
Programs & Projects
ENIGMA researchers collaborate to create a predictive model of the impacts of microbial communities on critical processes within an ecosystem.
A project that aims to understand and control the microscopic organisms that live on plant roots to support sustainable bioenergy.
Advances understanding of belowground biogeochemistry in the soil-plant-climate system to inform prediction models.
Creates, validates, and disseminates EcoFAB technologies complete with standardized model microbial communities tailored for the microbiome science community.
Aims to pilot “twin” ecosystems in the laboratory and field that use sensors and autonomous controls to study changes in root secretions during drought stress to see if they select for beneficial microbes.
Developing understanding and tools to measure and predict how droughts, early snowmelt, and other perturbations impact downstream water availability and biogeochemical cycling at episodic to decadal timescales.
Meet EcoPOD: Berkeley Lab’s High-Tech Growing Chamber
A new fabricated ecosystem platform unites research across biological scales for a new generation of ecology research
The Incredible Bacterial ‘Homing Missiles’ That Scientists Want to Harness
A Berkeley Lab-led team is digging into the bizarre bacteria-produced nanomachines that could fast-track microbiome science.
Cataloging Nature’s Hidden Arsenal: Viruses that Infect Bacteria
A new genetic approach can accelerate the study of phage-microbe interactions with implications for health, agriculture, and climate.
Berkeley Lab Receives DOE Support for Building to Study Microbe-Ecosystem Interactions for Energy and Environmental Research
Research performed in the building could help address many of today’s energy, water, and food challenges.