The thread that now runs through the NSU Oceanographic Center's
Genetics Lab ties together marine microbiology, metagenomics and sponge
The primary foci of Dr Lopez's research remain the molecular biology and
microbiology of marine organisms. This includes various aspects of marine
invertebrate (sponge, coral) symbioses with diverse microorganisms (bacterial
as well as eukaryotic fungi and protists), microbial community ecology and
molecular systematics. Attempts are being made to connect these specific
research areas with wider issues such as marine habitat conservation, climate
change, marine natural products and marine biodiversity.
One of his current projects is funded by the Florida SeaGrant College, and involves the characterization of gene expression patterns from diverse symbiotic microbial communities living within diverse marine invertebrates, such as deep sea sponges and corals. He also has ongoing collaborations focusing on the homeostasis and conservation of dwindling or unique marine habitats such as the Indian River Lagoon, and deep sea benthic invertebrate communities.