Do. Teach. Learn.

How and why do specific microbial communities form?

How can we explain patterns in evolution?

What is the best way to communicate complex stories?

About me

I am an ecologist, an educator, an artist, and a blacksmith. My research incorporates field work, wet labs, bioinformatic analysis, and data visualization to investigate novel questions using perfect, unusual systems. I engage and mentor students from diverse backgrounds by transforming their perceptions of science – and of themselves as scientists.

Selected publications and CV

Calvert, M, AA Madden, LM Nichols, NM Haddad, J Lahne, RR Dunn, EA McKenney. 2021. A review of sourdough starters: Ecology, practice, and sensory quality with applications for baking and recommendations for future research. PeerJ 9:d11389 [PDF]

Landis, E, AM Oliverio, EA McKenney, LM Nichols, N Kfoury, M Biango-Daniels, LK Shell, AA Madden, LR Shapiro, A Robbat, M Booker, RR Dunn, N Fierer, B Wolfe. 2021. The diversity and function of sourdough starter microbiomes. [PDF]

Gillman, SJ, EA McKenney, DJR Lafferty. 2020. Wild black bears harbor simple gut microbial communities with little difference between the jejunum and colon. Scientific Reports 10:20779. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-77282-w [PDF]

Bornbusch, SL, LK Greene, EA McKenney, SJ Volkoff, FS Midani, G Joseph, WA Gerhard, U Iloghalu, J Graneck, CK Gunsch. 2019. A comparative study of gut microbiomes in captive nocturnal strepsirrhines. American Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22986 [PDF]

Greene, LK, SL Bornbusch, EA McKenney, RL Harris, SR Gorvetzian, AD Yoder, CM Drea. 2019. The importance of scale in comparative microbiome research: New insights from the gut and glands of captive and wild lemurs. American Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22974 [PDF]

Ren, L, Holzknecht, RA, ZE Holzknecht, SH Kotze, DE Bowles, SS Lin, EA McKenney, W Parker. 2019. A mole-rat’s gut microbiota suggests selective influence of diet on microbial niche space and evolution. Experimental Biology & Medicine 244:471-483. DOI: 10.1177/1535370219828703 [PDF]

Greene, L.K., McKenney, E.A., O’Connell, T.M., Drea C.M. 2018. Let them eat leaves: the critical role of dietary foliage in maintaining the gut microbiome and metabolome of folivorous sifakas. Scientific Reports 8:14482. [PDF]

Greene, L.K., McKenney, E.A. The inside tract: the appendicular, cecal, and colonic microbiome of captive aye-ayes. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23481. [PDF]

McKenney, E.A., Koelle, K., Dunn, R.R., Yoder, A.D. (2018). The ecosystem services of animal microbiomes. Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/mec.14532. [PDF]

McKenney, E. A., O'Connell, T. M., Rodrigo, A., & Yoder, A. D. (2017). Feeding strategy shapes gut metagenomic enrichment and functional specialization in captive lemurs. Gut microbes. DOI: 10.1080/19490976.2017.1408762. [PDF] >> press release <<

McKenney, E. A., Maslanka, M., Rodrigo, A., & Yoder, A. D. (2017). Bamboo Specialists from Two Mammalian Orders (Primates, Carnivora) Share a High Number of Low-Abundance Gut Microbes. Microbial ecology, 1-13. Doi: 10.1007/s00248-017-1114-8 [PDF] >> press release <<

Villeneuve, C., Kou, H. H., Eckermann, H., Palkar, A., Anderson, L. G., McKenney, E. A., ... & Parker, W. (2017). Evolution of the hygiene hypothesis into biota alteration theory: What are the paradigms and where are the clinical applications?. Microbes and infection. [PDF]

McKenney, E. A., Greene, L. K., Drea, C. M., & Yoder, A. D. (2017). Down for the count: Cryptosporidium infection depletes the gut microbiome in Coquerel’s sifakas. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, 28(1), 1335165. [PDF] >> press release <<

McKenney, E., Flythe, T., Millis, C., Stalls, J., Urban, J. M., Dunn, R. R., & Stevens, J. L. (2016). Symbiosis in the Soil: Citizen Microbiology in Middle and High School Classrooms. Journal of microbiology & biology education, 17(1), 60. [PDF]

Williamson, L. L., McKenney, E. A., Holzknecht, Z. E., Belliveau, C., Rawls, J. F., Poulton, S., ... & Bilbo, S. D. (2016). Got worms? Perinatal exposure to helminths prevents persistent immune sensitization and cognitive dysfunction induced by early-life infection. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 51, 14-28. [PDF]

McKenney, E. A., Rodrigo, A., & Yoder, A. D. (2015). Patterns of gut bacterial colonization in three primate species. PloS one, 10(5), e0124618. [PDF]

McKenney, E. A., Williamson, L., Yoder, A. D., Rawls, J. F., Bilbo, S. D., & Parker, W. (2015). Alteration of the rat cecal microbiome during colonization with the helminth Hymenolepis diminuta. Gut microbes, 6(3), 182-193. [PDF]

McKenney, E. A., Ashwell, M., Lambert, J. E., & Fellner, V. (2014). Fecal microbial diversity and putative function in captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) and binturongs (Arctictis binturong). Integrative zoology, 9(5), 557-569. [PDF]