Microbial communities are ubiquitous and are crucially relevant to biogeochemical cycles as well as to plant and animal health. Given these central roles, research into microbial communities has been expanding over the last decade and is bound to continue to do so for decades to come. Since microbial communities are physically organised, dynamical, complex systems, this research necessitates combination of biological, physical, and mathematical approaches. The healthy development of this interdisciplinary field thus requires continued facilitation of crossing of disciplinary boundaries, both by established scientists and by emerging generation of new scientists. This follow-on workshop, following from its parent programme that was run in 2014, will enable a continued dialog among different researchers working on microbial communities and will draw in new talent. The main aim of this follow-on workshop is to further facilitate the interdisciplinary exchanges in microbial communities’ research and identify the emerging challenge areas in light of latest technological and conceptual developments in the field.

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