Projects

High-throughput DNA sequencing of the moose rumen from different geographical location reveals a core ruminal methanogenic archaeal diversity and a differential ciliate protozoal diversity.

This project expanded upon my work with moose bacteria from three geographic locations, to explore whether there were differences in methanogenic archaea or ciliated protozoa based on location. Archaea are microorganisms in their own Domain, as they are neither Bacteria nor Eukaryota, although they often have similarities to organisms found in the other two domains.  […]

Fibrolytic bacteria isolated from the rumen of North American moose (Alces alces) and their potential as a probiotic for ruminants.

In order to investigate the moose rumen bacteria face-to-face, I spent two weeks at the University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway, in the lab of Dr. Monica A. Sundset.  There, I learned how to anaerobically isolate and culture bacteria from the digestive tract of reindeer using an anaerobic chamber.  The chamber allows you to create an enclosed […]

Dissertation: A Comparative Analysis Of The Moose Rumen Microbiota And The Pursuit Of Improving Fibrolytic Systems

As a Ph.D. student, I worked in the laboratory of Dr. André-Denis Wright in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Vermont. My thesis work investigated the microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, and protozoa) in the digestive tract of the moose from several geographical locations. In addition to identifying bacteria and ciliate protozoa using high-throughput sequencing, […]

Design and validation of four new primers for next-generation sequencing to target the 18S rRNA gene of gastrointestinal ciliate protozoa.

If the research tools you require don’t exist- then you must create them yourself.  Such is often the case in working with microbial genomics.  In order to adapt sequencing technology to identify rumen ciliate protozoa, we needed to first design primers which to be used for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) in order to amplify enough […]

High-throughput DNA sequencing of the ruminal bacteria from moose (Alces alces) in Vermont, Alaska, and Norway.

For the second project of my Ph.D., I expanded upon my findings in Vermont moose.  Following the collection of samples from moose in Vermont, I was able to obtain samples from moose in Alaska and Norway, as well.  The Alaskan moose were part of the Moose Research Station herd in Soldotna, Alaska, where they were […]

Insight into the bacterial gut microbiome of the North American moose (Alces alces).

My first research project as a Ph.D. student was investigating the differences in the rumen and colon bacterial communities in moose from Vermont.  To obtain samples, I needed to secure permission from VT Department of Fish and Wildlife, as moose hunting and moose sample collection are tightly regulated; hunting is only permitted for approximately one […]