Soil microbial communities are known to respond to deforestation and land-use change in the tropics. However, researchers are still beginning to understand these impacts on several microbial-mediated ecosystem processes, including the consumption and emission of greenhouse gases. Using molecular and bioinformatics methods, we can access the abundance, taxonomic and functional diversity of these communities and even recover novel microbial genomes. This talk will share examples of how we are unraveling land-use change impacts on soil microbes, focusing on the Amazon region. Moreover, I will highlight educational opportunities for engaging a new generation of soil microbial ecologists.