Author Archives: Kelle Freel

About Kelle Freel

I'm currently a postdoc working at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology with Dr. Mike Rappé. I'm interested in the biogeography and ecology of microbes, especially of the marine variety. After studying a unique genus of marine bacteria at Scripps Oceanography in grad school, I moved to France, where I worked with a group studying yeast population genomics. In my free time, I like to do outdoorsy stuff, travel, and cook.

How much wood would a termite chuck…if it was missing its microbial symbionts

Termites get a pretty bad rap, probably because we think of our houses disintegrating when they move in. Ironically, we have a lot to learn from these critters, and their mounds have served as an inspiration for modern architecture. Either … Continue reading

Posted in Coevolution, evolution, genomics, microbiology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Music to an amniote’s ears, an “accordion” model of genome size evolution

How did we get where we are? Genetically speaking, that is. A few posts ago, that whole genotype-phenotype question was discussed, how do genomes make plants and animals (and don’t forget the microbes!) look and act how they do. Another … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, bioinformatics, evolution, genomics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

That’s an H. erato of a different color!

What drives different coloration among birds, insects, flowers? One of the major goals in evolutionary studies is understanding what is going on in DNA that makes organisms different. A fancy way to say this is studying how an organism’s genotype … Continue reading

Posted in evolution, genomics, phylogeography | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

When microbes can move mountains, studying microbial communities on glaciers

Bacteria are amazing, and as a recent article by Ambrosini and colleagues reminds us, they are quite literally, just about everywhere. Before reading this article, I have to admit, I was a little rusty on my definition of cryoconite holes, … Continue reading

Posted in community ecology, microbiology, Molecular Ecology, the journal | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I do not think it means what you think it means: “relic DNA” can obscure microbial diversity studies

Although microbes are small, they play an important part in both biogeochemical cycles in the ocean as well as on land. However, as they are not so easy to observe by eye, and in many cases can’t be cultured in … Continue reading

Posted in community, community ecology, microbiology, next generation sequencing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

When the going gets hot the dinoflagellates (sometimes) get going, how viruses might affect coral symbionts

Corals represent more than meets the eye, they host intricate and interesting communities composed of dinoflagellates (also referred to as zooxanthellae), and a suite of microbes that include bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, and viruses. One such dinoflagellate that often shares … Continue reading

Posted in community ecology, microbiology, next generation sequencing, RNAseq, transcriptomics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Diving into chilly California waters, understanding genomic differentiation and the role of gene transfer in marine cyanophages

At this point, it’s clear: microbes are everywhere, there are a lot of them, and they are important. In fact, they are more abundant, more diverse and older than any other organism we have on this planet. In particular, cyanobacteria … Continue reading

Posted in Coevolution, evolution, genomics, horizontal gene transfer, microbiology, population genetics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment