Faculty - Edward F. DeLong

Edward F. DeLong's photo

Edward F. DeLong

Morton (1924) and Claire Goulder and Family Professor in Environmental Systems

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Department of Biological Engineering

Member, National Academy of Sciences

Room 48-427
15 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA, 02139

Telephone: 617.253.5271 Email: delong@mit.edu Research Website: http://eddelong.mit.edu/ Assistant: Darlene Strother / strother@mit.edu

Video of DeLong's NAS research presentation


  • Ph.D. Marine Biology 1986

Research Interests

Microbial life has been integral to the history and function of life on Earth for over 3.5 billion years. As such, microbes have evolved to be the fundamental engines that drive the cycles of energy and matter on Earth, past and present. Additionally, microbes represent the single largest source of evolutionary and biochemical diversity on the planet. Despite their significance, our understanding of the evolution and ecology, and the structure and function of natural microbial communities is limited both conceptually and technologically. Yet the potential of this vast reservoir of genetic and biochemical diversity is enormous, from the perspective of both basic knowledge creation, as well as that of synthetic applications. For these reasons, a major focus of our lab centers on devising and applying new approaches to describe, quantify and model the complexity of natural microbial assemblages, in particular bacteria and archaea, and understand its natural significance and applied potential.

Our lab is currently engaged in applying contemporary genomic technologies to dissect c