...aims to understand microbial communities with a combination of lab experiments and mathematical modeling. Microbes are all around us and even live in large numbers on and in our bodies where they directly impact our health and well-being. Although microbial communities are such an essential part of our lives, we know very little about how they function. Our lab aims to gain a deeper general understanding of microbial communities, especially how interactions between microbes shape the overall communities and determine their functions. We believe a better understanding of microbial communities allows us to develop new ways of treating a variety of diseases.



September, 2021: Or and Christoph wrote a preview article for Trends in Microbiology. Check it out here if you want to know what is going on with this cat. Cat image by

September, 2021: Welcome Deni! Deni is our first master student and will explore how we can predict microbial interactions. See the team page for more details.

July, 2021: Welcome Or! Or joined our lab as postdoc and will explore how complex microbial communities can protect against pathogens. Check out the team page for more details.

May, 2021: Shubham won the CMFI Young Investigator's grant to develop a high-throughput pathogenesis assay in C. elegans. Congrats Shubham!

January, 2021: Worms are great! New paper - with minor contributions of us - explores the microbiota assembly in C. elegans. See publications section for details.

news archive


C. Ratzke*, J. Barrere*, J. Gore
"Strength of species interactions determines biodiversity and stability in microbial communities"
Nature Ecology and Evolution 4, 376–383 (2020)

D. Amor, C. Ratzke, J. Gore
"Transient invaders can induce shifts between alternative stable states of microbial communities"
Science Advances, Vol. 6, no. 8 (2020)

C. Ratzke*, J.Denk*, J.Gore
"Ecological suicide in microbes"
Nature Ecology and Evolution 2, 867–872 (2018)

C. Ratzke, J. Gore
“Modifying and reacting to the environmental pH can drive bacterial interactions”
PLOS Biology 16(3): e2004248 (2018)

C. Ratzke, J.Gore
“Self-organized patchiness facilitates survival in a cooperatively growing Bacillus subtilis population”
Nature Microbiology, Article number: 16022 (2016)