New Sloan-funded program in the built environment: Microbial diversity in 1,000 homes across the United States

Another just-approved project in the built environment.   This project led by Noah Fierer (CU Boulder), Shelly Miller (CU Boulder) and Rob Dunn (North Carolina State) will look at the factors structuring bacterial and fungal diversity in 1,000 homes across the United States.

We propose the first continental-scale study testing how and why house-associated microbial communities vary across 1,000 homes located throughout the United States. Our goal is to quantify how the design, age, usage, interior characteristics, occupancy, and location influence the types of bacteria and fungi found within homes.

We will compare bacterial and fungal communities found in homes that represent a broad range of characteristics from urban, suburban, and rural locations across the U.S. This unprecedented sampling effort will uniquely provide the statistical power to address the following questions and to test related hypotheses:

1) How do the physical characteristics of homes influence house-associated microbial communities?; 2) How does geographic location and surrounding land-use influence microbial communities found inside and outside homes?; 3) How do the living occupants of homes (humans, pets, plants) influence the types of microbes found within homes?.

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David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter