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The Ratzke lab 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.