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.

Faculty Working in Agricultural Microbiomes

Seth Bordenstein

Director of the Microbiome Center; Huck Chair in Microbiome Sciences; Professor of Biology and Entomology
The evolutionary and genetic principles that shape symbiotic interactions between animals, microbes, and viruses and the major applications of these interactions to human health.

Mary Ann Bruns

Professor of Soil Microbiology and Biogeochemistry; Faculty-in-Charge of Microbiome Sciences Dual-Title Degree Program
Compositions and functions of microbiomes in agriculture, ecological restoration, and engineered systems for ecosystem service provision and climate change adaptation

Carolee Bull

Professor of Plant Pathology; Bacterial Systematics Head; Director of Microbiome Sciences Dual-Title Degree Program
Bacterial systematics, epidemiology, and population biology of bacterial plant pathogens and biological control agents to develop alternatives to synthetic chemicals for plant disease management

Maurice Byukusenge

Assistant Clinical Professor

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.

Suzanne Fleishman

Assistant Professor of Root Biology

Erika Ganda

Emphasis Area Representative, Microbiome Sciences; Assistant Professor of Food Animal Microbiomes
Developing practical ways to leverage the microbiome to improve food safety and improve food production animals' production efficiency.

Ilias Georgakopoulos-Soares

Assistant Professor
The development and implementation of new computational methods in genomics and molecular biology, with the aim of identifying genetic biomarkers for the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of human diseases, including bacterial and viral infections and of aging-associated diseases including neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.

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.

Kelli Hoover

Professor of Entomology
Invasive species of forest insects; plant-insect-entomopathogen interactions; impacts of plants on pathogenesis; biological control of hemlock woolly adelgid

María del Mar Jiménez Gasco

Professor of Plant Pathology and Environmental Mictobiology; Head, Dept of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology

Camelia Kantor

Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives; Associate Research Professor
Camelia Kantor is a highly interdisciplinary geospatial researcher and integrator. Before joining Huck, her prior work involved HBCU teaching, research and training and national security related program assessment and management. Her research interests are at the intersection of geospatial, life sciences, and business. Since 2010, she has been a frequent speaker, conference lead, and academic program evaluator.

Mihail Kantor

Assistant Research Professor

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. Bioanalytical techniques to probe the mechanism of action and basic biology of these target organisms. Ethnobotany and indigenous knowledge surrounding plant-based medicine.

Jasna Kovac

Lester Earl and Veronica Casida Career Development Professor of Food Safety; Associate 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.

Ruth Nissly

Assistant Research Professor