This summer, I started the next chapter of my academic life by accepting a tenure-track position in the Soil and Water Sciences Department at the University of Florida. I have been at UF for 5 years, but I am excited to now be able to actively recruit students and post-docs for my lab. I’ve worked in a diverse set of environments over the years and that is not likely to change soon — I guess I just like being outside and I hope that this will also attract a variety of different types of students. I have been working on coral diseases for several years, but lately I have been expanding my research into new areas, including coral restoration, seagrass rhizomes, and freshwater habitats. While these areas may appear disparate, the underlying thrust of research going forward in my lab is an applied microbial ecology approach — using our understanding of microbiomes to maintain and improve ecosystem functions.