Agricultural Microbiomes

Holstein cows in pasture

Research in our center explores microbes in both plant and animal agricultural contexts, exploring how microbiomes can be leveraged to improve food production, quality, and nutritional values in foods, as well as soil and plant health. We are also exploring the effects of antibiotic resistance in food production and how integrating microbiomes into classical food science research may reduce foodborne illnesses.  

Check out the mBiome Program to see how our Center’s researchers are manipulating microbes across the agricultural food chain to improve the production, health, and value of our foods.

Faculty Working in Agricultural Microbiomes

Terrence Bell

Assistant Professor of Phytobiomes

Soil and root-associated microbiomes, microbiome assembly, microbiome manipulation, disturbance.

Mary Ann Bruns

Professor of Soil Microbiology and Biogeochemistry

Compositions and functions of microbiomes in agriculture, ecological restoration, and engineered systems for ecosystem service provision and climate change adaptation

Carolee Bull

Director of the Microbiome Center; Professor of Plant Pathology; Bacterial Systematics Head, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology

Bacterial systematics, epidemiology, and population biology of bacterial plant pathogens and biological control agents to develop alternatives to synthetic chemicals for plant disease management

Darrell Cockburn

Assistant Professor of Food Science

Estelle Couradeau

Assistant Professor of Ecosystem Science & Management

Francisco Dini-Andreote

Assistant Professor of Plant Science

Microbiome, plant-microbe interactions, and community ecology. Harnessing the plant microbiome to enhance protection against biotic and abiotic stresses.

Erika Ganda

Assistant Professor of Food Animal Microbiomes

Developing practical ways to leverage the microbiome to improve food safety and improve food production animals' production efficiency.

Kevin Hockett

Huck Early Career Chair; Assistant Professor of Microbial Ecology

Biological Control, Biology and Ecology of Plant-Microbe and Plant-Environment Interactions, Microbial Ecology and Population Biology Faculty

Vasant Honavar

Huck Chair in Biomedical Data Sciences and AI; Professor and Edward Frymoyer Chair of Information Sciences and Technology

Statistical machine learning algorithms for predictive modeling; modeling and inference of biological networks; characterization and prediction of protein-protein, protein-RNA, and protein-DNA interactions.

María del Mar Jiménez Gasco

Professor of Plant Pathology and Environmental Mictobiology

Joshua Kellogg

Emphasis Area Representative, Molecular Toxicology; Assistant Professor of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Development of new metabolomics tools for chemical and biological characterization of complex systems. Discovery of new natural products from plants and microorganisms with novel bioactivity against pathogenic fungi and neglected tropical diseases.…

Jasna Kovac

Lester Earl and Veronica Casida Career Development Professor of Food Safety; Assistant Professor of Food Science

Integrating epidemiological, microbiological, molecular and omics methods to better understand microbial pathogenic potential, antimicrobial resistance, and epidemiology of foodborne pathogens.

Siela Maximova

Research Professor of Plant Biotechnology Co-Director, Endowed Program in the Molecular Biology of Cocoa

Molecular basis of plant-pathogen and plant-endophyte interactions. Biotechnology of tree crops. Development of sustainable energy crops.

John Pecchia

Assistant Research Professor

Josephine Wee

Assistant Professor of Food Science