Although microbial communities are incredibly diverse, only a portion of the community members will be active at any given time. The vast metabolic capabilities collectively captured by the species diversity of the community allow it to adapt rapidly and efficiently to a changing environment—this is done through the activation and deactivation of specific metabolic processes. Conventional microbial community analysis methods generally leverage DNA-based analyses, and make a broad assumption that each identified species present in that environmental condition and / or sample is relevant at that moment in time. Advancements in gene expression, protein expression, and other metabolism-related measurement tools have progressed rapidly over the past 5 years, enabling the ability to focus in on the subpopulations of microorganisms carrying out relevant chemistries. At Ascus, we have pioneered the incorporation of these tools, in addition to proprietary markers and tools, to more effectively and directly measure the community members and its organization.