Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory

Network Goals & Objectives

The first goal of this RCN is to develop an international interdisciplinary community of environmental enzyme researchers, from students to senior scientists. Through the website and other activities, this RCN will increase communication within the enzyme research community, especially between aquatic, marine and soil-focused researchers. These groups face many of the same technical challenges, yet rarely interact—the RCN will foster that interaction.

The second goal of the RCN is to improve our understanding of biotic and abiotic controls on enzyme production, stabilization, turnover and in-situ activity. We will start by synthesizing the current state-of-knowledge on enzymes, and then proceed to identifying major areas of uncertainty or disagreement. To address those uncertainties, RCN members will develop and propose research that may include conducting a global meta-analysis of enzyme activity in relation to abiotic and biotic factors.

The third goal is to standardize and advance enzyme methodology. Published data sets are often incomparable because of lab-to-lab variation in methods. By compiling methods on the RCN website, we hope to make data more comparable, extending its utility beyond the scope of the original studies. A major methodological focus of the RCN is to spur development of new technique for measuring in-situ enzyme activity and to develop approaches to integrate studies of functional genes, proteins and enzyme activities.