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

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]