News

Use and abuse of correlations

We recently published a Perspective Article in the ISME Journal on the ‘Use and abuse of correlation analyses in microbial ecology.’ In this piece, we highlight the pitfalls of inferring microbe-microbe interactions from sequencing data. The lead author, Alex Carr, wrote a blog post titled ‘Inferring microbial interactions from relative abundance: not as easy as you would think’ detailing his inspiration for writing this perspective. You can check out the…

Microbiome Stress Project’s first publication

Microbial communities are highly sensitive to their environments, which makes studying them under heterogeneous conditions difficult. Environmental perturbations (stressors) generate spatiotemporal heterogeneity in natural systems. While large databases of natural ecosystems exist (e.g. the Earth Microbiome Project or the Human Microbiome Project), there are no databases that catalog microbial ecosystems subjected to applied environmental stress. The Microbiome Stress Project (MSP) was established to build such a database and perform a…

Sushmita Patwardhan Joins the Lab

Dr. Sushmita Patwardhan joins the Gibbons Lab as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Systems Biology. Dr. Patwardhan recently completed her PhD in marine microbial ecology at Rutgers University, supervised by Prof. Costantino Vetriani. Her work involved the cultivation of bacteria from shallow marine vents and the characterization of these complex communities by integrating multi-omics data, field studies, and lab-based experiments. Dr. Patwardhan will apply her ecological expertise to…

Global Microbiome Conservancy

The Global Microbiome Conservancy is a non-profit collaboration between scientists and communities around the world, unified around a common goal: to collect and preserve the full biodiversity of human gut microbes for future generations. The work of the conservancy is centered on four core goals: Conservation We dedicate our efforts to conserve an invisible, intimate and crucial biodiversity of the human body: the gut microbiome. By culturing, isolating and storing…

Spore-Forming Bacteria Widely Shared Across Humans

Endospores and other lysis-resistant bacteria comprise a widely shared core community within the human microbiota Endospore-formers in the human microbiota are well adapted for host-to-host transmission, and an emerging consensus points to their role in determining health and disease states in the gut. The human gut, more than any other environment, encourages the maintenance of endospore formation, with recent culture-based work suggesting that over 50% of genera in the microbiome…

Microbiome Stress Project

The Gibbons Group Joins the Microbiome Stress Project The lab will join researchers at Duke University, the University of New Hampshire, and Montana State University to conduct a large-scale meta-analysis of how environmental stressors impact microbial communities. Prior surveys, like the Earth and Human Microbiome Projects, have established a baseline for healthy ecosystems across the planet. The Microbiome Stress Project will focus on ecological resistance and resilience of natural microbial…