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Currently, Shibl is working on characterizing the microbial consortia surrounding diatoms isolated from the Arabian Gulf. He uses genomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics to understand how these bacteria interact with diatoms. We aim to expand our sampling efforts to include marine environments of contrasting physicochemical characteristics in order to gain more insight on how the environment controls the microbiome, and in turn, how this affects the dynamics between bacterial/archaeal cells and diatoms.