What we do

Research Overview

Microbiome research is among the most exciting and promising areas of science today due to many technological advances, particular in high throughput DNA and RNA sequencing, that allow us to determine in complex environments which microbes are present and their metabolism. A prominent component of our research is using genomic and computational methods to understand the ecology and evolution of gut and forest soil microbiomes. Our laboratory is set up for standard molecular biology and microbial physiology research and contains specialized equipment for isolating and culturing anaerobic bacteria. The research we do has led to the discovery of new bacterial species and metabolic processes that have have far ranging impacts from probiotics to understanding climate change. Our research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, United States Department of Agriculture, and the Morris Animal Foundation. More....

Lab News

* Congratulations to Madhura, Fauzia and Ava on their successful Honors Research Grants to fund their senior thesis research.
* Amy has started her new position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware where she will be leading research on the equine microbiome in health and disease. Her equine research started here at UMass with 3 sweet Morgans at the Hadley Farm.
* A lot of work went into this paper Genome and Transcriptome of Clostridium phytofermentans, Catalyst for the Direct Conversion of Plant Feedstocks to Fuels and it has been finally published. Thanks for funding by the Department of Energy CSP and SBIR programs.
* Welcome to 2 new summer REU students. Cora Kerber is part of the Collaborative Undergraduate Research in Energy Program funded by the National Science Foundation". Josia DeChiara is part of the Harvard Forest Summer Program in Ecology funded by the National Science Foundation".
* Eric Gann has just finished 4 great years in the lab with some excellent results on choline metabolism. We will miss him and wish him well in his graduate research at the University of Tennessee!
* Lauren has been elected to represent the graduate students in Long Term Ecological Research Program funded by the National Science Foundation. She will be participating in site visits by NSF panel members and representing our site at the National LTER meeting in Colorado this August.
* The first paper is a series from the warming plots Long-term forest soil warming alters microbial communities in temperate forest soils funded by the Department of Energy CSP program has been published.