I’m very pleased to announce that I’ll be teaching a course this fall on “Introduction to Mammalian Microbiomes”, with the University of Oregon Clark Honors College. I hope that this will be the first of many courses taught at UO, beginning with my background in “host-associated”, and expanding out into “house-associated”.
Course Description: Introduction to mammalian microbiomes.
The learning objectives of this course are to introduce students to basic concepts in host-associated microbiomes. Some background in microbial ecology, genetics, anatomy, bioinformatics, or immunology would be helpful, but is not required. While difficult concepts will be discussed, the course is intended to teach students about the basic principles: what is a microbiome? How does host anatomy drive microbial ecology? How does that community develop over time? How does it change? How does technology inform our understanding of these systems, and what limitations does that technology introduce? When we read about host-associated microbiomes in the news, especially regarding health, how can we assess if the study is rigorous and how should be interpret the scope of the findings? The skill-set objectives include learning to review complicated journal articles, distilling their findings while understanding their limitations, and developing science communication skills in a variety of formats.