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Pathways to Careers in Genomics: Otto X. Cordero

Speaker Name: 
Otto X. Cordero
Speaker Title: 
Associate Professor
Speaker Organization: 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Start Time: 
Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 11:40am
End Time: 
Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 1:40pm
UCSC Genomics Institute

Biography: Otto X. Cordero received a B.S. in computer and electrical engineering from the Polytechnic University of Ecuador, an M.Sc. in artificial intelligence from Utrecht University, and a Ph.D. in theoretical biology, also from Utrecht University. His main research focus is the ecology and evolution of natural microbial collectives. The Cordero Lab is interested in understanding how social and ecological interactions at micro-scales impact the global productivity, stability and evolutionary dynamics of microbial ecosystems.

Abstract: In this presentation, I will discuss the work we have done over the last five years, building a model system to study microbial community ecology and the impact of microbial interactions on the degradation of complex organic matter in the environment. I will walk you through the questions that prompted me to start the development of this system, the process of development and the lessons we have learned. Model systems are the workhorse of biology: We need to (somehow) domesticate nature if we want to learn more about it. However, they come with their limitations too. I will talk about them and what the new questions they lead us to ask. Finally, I hope to spend some time with you talking about where to go from here, and what I see as the main open problems we need to address if we want to develop a more quantitative and predictive understanding of microbial ecosystems.


All are welcome to join us for this online presentation! To accommodate a disability, please contact Ben Coffey at the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute (, 831-459-1477).

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