Marine Biological Laboratory
Dr. Cardon is an ecosystems ecologist with roots in mechanistic plant physiology, particularly focusing on interactions among plant roots, microbes, and soil. For two decades, she has been working toward understanding dynamics of interactions belowground in situ, using genetically engineered microbes, meta-genomics and -transcriptomics, imaging, mathematical modeling, and stable isotope techniques. Most recently, she and colleagues have been developing ways to observe and model microbial functions embedded in pore-scale soil microenvironments, in order to understand constraints on microbial activities (e.g. provision of resources, diffusion of signals) through time, at the tiny scales where microbes truly operate. She has served as President of the Physiological Ecology Section of the Ecological Society of America, Associate Director of the Center for Integrative Geosciences at University of Connecticut, and Sarah Blaffer Hrdy Fellow in Conservation Biology at Harvard. Since 2008, she has been a Senior Scientist at the MBL, where she and colleagues are building bridges between researchers studying ecosystem functions essential for sustaining life on Earth, and researchers using high throughput sequencing to examine structure and function of microbial communities across diverse ecosystems.