The Advanced Methods series is intended for advanced undergraduates, graduate students and established research scientists. Titles in the series are designed to cover current important areas of research in life sciences, and include both theoretical background and detailed protocols. The aim is to give researchers sufficient theory, supported by references, to take the given protocols and adapt them to their particular experimental systems. Molecular approaches to microbial ecology mean that in principle the entire range of species in a given sample can be analyzed, in contrast to conventional techniques, which rely on cell cultivation, and thereby typically include only about 10% of the species in a sample. Molecular Microbial Ecology provides both a theoretical and a methodological introduction to various key molecular techniques used in microbial ecology, focusing particularly on nucleic acid-based methodologies.