Cave Microbiology Lab

Kindly drawn by Katryna Barone in 2018

Our research interests include cave microbiology and drug discovery, white-nose syndrome in bats, antibiotic resistance, and microbiology education.  Our research has primarily centered on microbial diversity, microbial secondary metabolites production, and searching for potential natural products and bioactive compounds.  Research questions that our laboratory is addressing have focused on whether new drugs with the different mode of actions and with new scaffolds can be found in rare/less-intensive-studied microorganisms living in extreme habitats (i.e., in caves)?  Besides drug discovery aspect of our research, other research questions include cave bacterial diversity, adaptation, relationship, and evolution.  In the long run, we would like to be able to connect the dots in cave microbial study, how the microorganisms survive in such hypogenic and dark environments for years and what traits they need to have to thrive in such habitats. How about the relationships amongst other species in the same habitats? And can we use all the information gathered to answer its evolutionary patterns?  Recently, our lab has been working on developing probiotics to help prevent bats from white-nose syndrome.

New Course

2023 International Field School – Thailand

Recent Research Grants

2020 -2021  With Drs. Carol Rees  (Lead PI), Michelle Harrison and partnering with the School District #73, we have been successfully awarded with the 2020-2021 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Engage Grants Covid-19 Special Initiative 1C Research project entitled “Supporting curiosity-driven inquiry-based science education online through a community-of-inquiry partnership: rethinking pedagogical approaches during the Covid-19 pandemic”

Recent Awards

2022 3M National Teaching Fellowship Award

Recent Publications

  1. Chadabhorn Insuk#, Adrian Forsythe, Pornkanok Pongpamorn, Atsuko Matsumoto, Satoshi Ōmura and Wasu Pathom-aree*, Naowarat Cheeptham*, Jianping Xu*, (2021) Taxonomic and metabolite diversities of Moss-Associated Actinobacteria from Thailand. Metabolites. 12(1). https://www.mdpi.com/2218-1989/12/1/22
  2. Judson Wynne*, Francis G. Howarth, Stefano Mammola, Rodrigo Lopes Ferreira, Pedro Cardoso, Tiziana Di Lorenzo, Diana M. P. Galassi, Rodrigo A. Medellin, Bruce W. Miller, David Sánchez-Fernández, Maria Elina Bichuette, Jayant Biswas, Chaichat Boonyanusith, Paulo Alexandre Vieira Borges, Penelope J. Boston, Naowarat Cheeptham, Louis Deharveng, David Eme, Danté Fenolio, Cene Fišer, Žiga Fišer, Samuel Gon, Forough Goudarzi, Christian Griebler, Stuart Halse, Hannelore Hoch, Aron D. Katz, Ľubomír Kováč, Thomas M. Lilley, Shirish Manchi, Raoul Manenti, Alejandro Martínez, Wilber E. Martinez, Melissa B. Meierhofer, Ana Z. Miller, Oana Teodora Moldovan, Matthew L. Niemiller, Tanja Pipan, Thais Giovannini Pellegrini, Charity M. Phillips-Lander, Celso Poo, Paul A. Racey, Isabel Amorim de Rosário, Alberto Sendra, William A. Shear, Marconi Souza Silva, Mingyi Tian, Stefano Taiti, Michael P. Venarsky, Sebastián Yancovic Pakarati, Maja Zagmajster, and Yahui Zhao (2021) A Roadmap for the Conservation of the Subterranean Biome. Conservation Letters. https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/conl.12834