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David J. Esteban

Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Science, Technology and Society
  • BSc, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • PhD, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Research Interests

Viruses and bacteria are everywhere. While we tend to think of viruses as something that makes us sick, they are actually found in every environment where there is life. That includes the ocean, geothermal pools, streams, and soil. In fact, viruses are the most abundant organisms on the planet, and while each gram of soil contains a huge number of bacteria, there are even more viruses. Even though we know they are there in huge numbers, it's not clear what role they play in the ecosystem. I am interested in the interactions between the bacterial and viral communities in the soil, and the impact of environmental conditions on these communities. While there is much work on describing bacterial communities in different environments, there is less known about the viral communities and thus we are missing an important part of the picture. I am using Winogradsky columns as a model microbial ecosystem to study the dynamics of bacterial and viral communities in the soil.

Teaching Interests

  • Biol 106 (F07): Introduction to Biological Process
  • Biol 370 (F07): Immunology
  • Biol 205 (S08): Introduction to Microbiology
  • Biol 105 (F08): Introduction to Biology: Viruses and their Hosts
  • Biol 172/STS 172 (F08): Microbial Wars