Dr. Frank Aylward

Biological Sciences

Dr. Aylward’s research program at Virginia Tech focuses on the ecology and evolution of microbial life. The primary goals of the research group are:

  1. to advance understanding of the phylogenetic and physiological diversity of microbial life on Earth
  2. to expand our knowledge of the forces that shape microbial community composition and ecological dynamics
  3. to develop bioinformatic methods to characterize patterns of genomic diversity of microbial life.

With regards to global change, Dr. Aylward is interested in exploring how microbial communities respond to both local and global perturbations, and how these changes influence microbial interactions and co-evolution.

Lab Website


Recent Relevant Publications

* denotes equal contribution from authors

EW Getz, SS Tithi, L Zhang, FO Aylward. Parallel Evolution of Genome Streamlining and Cellular Bioenergetics Across the Marine Radiation of a Bacterial Phylum. mBio, 2018. 9:e01089-18. https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01089-18.

Luo E, FO Aylward, DR Mende, EF DeLong. Bacteriophage Distributions and Temporal Variability in the Ocean’s Interior. mBio, 2017, 8(6):e01903-17.

FO Aylward, D Boeuf, DR Mende, EM Wood-Charlson, A Vislova, JM Eppley, AE Romano, EF DeLong. Diel Cycling and Long-Term Persistence of Viruses in the Ocean’s Euphotic Zone. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2017, 114(43): 11446-11451.

DR Mende*, J Bryant*, FO Aylward*, JM Eppley, TN Nielsen, DM Karl, EF DeLong. Environmental Drivers of a Microbial Genomic Transition Zone in the Ocean’s Interior. Nature Microbiology, 2017, 2(10): 1367.

ST Wilson*, FO Aylward*, F Ribalet, B Barone, JR Casey, PE Connell, JM Eppley, S Ferrón, JN Fitzsimmons, CT Hayes, AE Romano, KA Turk-Kubo, A Vislova, EV Armbrust, DA Caron, MJ Church, JP Zehr, DM Karl, EF DeLong. Coordinated Regulation of Growth, Activity and Transcription in Natural Populations of the Unicellular Nitrogen-Fixing Cyanobacterium Crocosphaera. Nature Microbiology, 2017, 2(9): 118.

EA Gontang, FO Aylward, C Carlos, TG del Rio, M Chovatia, A Fern, C-C Lo, SA Malfatti, SG Tringe, CR Currie, R Kolter. Major changes in microbial diversity and community composition across gut sections of a juvenile Panchlora cockroach. PLOS ONE, 2017, 12(5): e0177189.