Microorganisms are fundamental to life; and Shedd's Molecular and Microbial Ecology Group investigates how they impact animal and ecosystem health in managed and natural environments. Using genomic approaches, we seek to better understand how aquarium management practices impact microbial assemblages that are important for animal health.
The work of this group was initiated in 2015 with a generous gift from the Grainger Foundation that established the Aquarium Microbiome Project and onsite laboratory. Today, the laboratory has been fully integrated into the A. Watson Armour III Center for Animal Health and Welfare and the work conducted has expanded to include support of in situ research projects, enhanced clinical diagnostics and ex situ research.
Our microbial ecology research questions include:
- How do we manage environmental microbiomes to reduce host susceptibility to disease in intensively-managed habitats?
- What alternatives to disinfection can help us reduce exposure to Mycobacterium species in built aquatic environments?
- How can an understanding of microbial communities help us promote nitrification/denitrification and reduce drug resistance in aquatic systems?