visiting The OSU

I had a productive whirlwind visit to THE Ohio State University last week, visiting the Wrighton Lab to discuss our collaborative project studying the microbial communities inhabiting freshwater wetlands, the Center for Applied Plant Sciences to give a talk to an inquisitive, sharp audience, and the OSU experimental wetlands, which – aside from hosting a lot of interesting research – are constructed in the shape of a pair of kidneys, adjacent to a cemetery.

kidneys and kidneys


Welcome, David

The lab welcomes David Banks-Richardson, who is pursuing a MS in Integrative Biology.  David comes to us with a background in environmental sciences and interesting work experience in water quality.

Fathead minnow triclosan exposure experiment published

FHM_Figure1We have a new publication out in Microbiome describing the effects of low-level environmental triclosan exposure on the fathead minnow gut microbiome.  Fathead minnows don’t appear to have particularly fat heads, but they are common model organisms in environmental toxicology, and our collaborator Alan Vajda and his lab know them well.  Triclosan is the “antimicrobial” component in antimicrobial hand soaps and other consumer products, and an emerging environmental contaminant.  This study integrates sequencing-based microbial ecology of host gut communities with the field of environmental toxicology, and asks the simple question of whether environmentally relevant levels of triclosan exposure might alter the gut community of fishes.  Congratulations to Adrienne Narrowe (first author) and everyone else at CU Denver (3 labs, 2 PhD students, 1 staff, and 1 undergraduate student) who worked hard on this experiment.