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Communities of interacting microbes perform fundamental processes on Earth, such as cycling the elements and shaping our health. These processes arise from a dense network of interactions between individual cells in the community. Many microbial communities are spatially structured, thus interaction occur mostly between cells close in space. Therefore, the spatial arrangement of different cell types determines the interactions that occur and therefore the processes that the whole community performs. I observe microbial communities at the single-cell level and I reconstruct the spatial network of interaction between cells. I combine these experiments with mathematical modeling to elucidate how community-level properties arise from the activity and the interactions between single cells.
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