Erik Hom

  • Assistant Professor, Biology Department, University of Mississippi
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My lab is interested in understanding how microbes symbiose or interact in a persistent fashion and form stable communities that perform defined functions. We are particularly fond of studying the interactions of fungi and phototrophic microbes and understanding their social rules of engagement. I received my Ph.D. in Biophysics at UCSF and did postdoctoral work at Harvard, where I began pursuing my interests in microbial ecology and evolution. At Ole Miss, we primarily study microbial communities by creating and assembling them from the ground up, though with a careful and respectful eye towards natural, pre-existing microbial communities. As a postdoc, I "discovered" that ascomycetous fungi have a broad capacity to interact with algae; this work in part motivates our NSF GoLife-funded efforts to discover new fungal-phototroph interactions in the wild— interactions that we believe have been poorly characterized and that may be associated with untapped fungal diversity. Further details about our lab can be found here: