Professor Hugenholtz is a microbiologist who has made contributions in the field of culture-independent analysis of microorganisms. He discovered and characterised numerous previously unrecognised major bacterial and archaeal lineages each with greater evolutionary divergence than animals and plants combined. He has participated in the development and application of metagenomics, the genome-based characterisation of microbiomes, which has revolutionised our understanding of microbial ecology and evolution. He has made several discoveries in environmental and clinical microbiology sometimes overturning decades of misdirected culture-based studies.

1988 B.Sc. (Hons), The University of Queensland
1994 PhD, The University of Queensland

Understanding evolution of dominant bacteria inhabiting the rodent gut

The gut microbiome is central to animal health and immune function, however we have an incomplete understanding of how this important symbiotic ecosystem evolved.

Evolution of the marsupial gut microbiome and adaptation to plant toxins

Animals are reliant on their gut microbiota (collectively called the microbiome) for health and well-being.

Understanding the koala microbiome

Understanding the role of microbes in koala digestion and their potential to buffer digestive efficiency against the impacts of climate change as well as from translocation to areas with different species eucalyptus trees.

Extracting genomes of uncultured members of the human microbiome

An important aspect of our work with host-associated microbiomes involves investigating members of these communities that have yet to be cultured within the laboratory.

Understanding the contribution of the microbiome to the development of GVHD

Bone marrow and stem cell transplants are important therapies for cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma that develop in blood forming tissues.

Modifying the microbiome for treatment of COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is used to describe a number of lung diseases that prevent proper breathing.

Microscale experiments to understand a microscale oceanic world

Marine microbes are tiny, they span only about 1/100 the diameter of a human hair, but they are very abundant in our oceans, accounting for over 90% of the biomass.

Tree of Life

Taxonomic classification of living organisms and understanding their ancestry is the basis of all biology.

Determinants of the Progression of Actinic Keratosis to Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer globally.


Australian Centre for Ecogenomics
Level 5, Molecular Biosciences Bldg
University of Queensland
Brisbane, Australia

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