The Human Microbiome

Our bodies are home to millions of microorganisms that are intimately associated with our health. We are studying the role these microbiomes play in tooth decay and obesity.

Richards et al. 2017

Legionnaires' disease

Legionnaires' disease is caused by Legionella bacteria that colonize large plumbing systems and water cooling towers. We are studying the community dynamics of the microbiome associated with outbreaks of the disease.

Streptococcus agalactiae

This bacteria (also known as group B strep) is an important pathogen that causes disease in a wide range of species including humans (neonatal mortality), cattle (bovine mastitis), and fish (septicaemia and meningo-encephalitis).

Richards et al. 2011

Streptococcus agalactiae

Transcriptomics reveal important adaptions to the bovine environment; for example, lactose metabolism.

Richards et al. 2013

Campylobacter sp.

Campylobacter jejuni subsp. jejuni and Campylobacter coli are recognized as the leading causes of human bacterial gastroenteritis in the industrialized world.

Richards et al. 2013

Streptococcus canis: an opportunistic pathogen of cats and dogs

Infecting a wide range of tissues such as the central nervous system, respiratory tract, and cardiovascular system, infection can cause serious invasive disease, such as streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, necrotizing fasciitis, septicemia, pneumonia, and meningitis, with numerous reports of fatal infection.

Richards et al. 2012

The genus Streptococcus

Phylogenomic study aimed at gaining a better understanding of Streptococcus genome evolution and the genetic basis underlining the functional diversity within the genus.

Richards et al. 2014

The Spotted Eagle Ray (Aetobatus narinari)

The Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Studies examining the existence of two species of Spotted Eagle Ray in the Pacific and Atlantic, and the existence of two populations of Bottlenose Dolphins within a Florida inshore lagoon.

Richards et al. 2009
Richards et al. 2013

The brittle star Ophiothrix suensonii

Study exploring evolutionary and demographic history focusing on the effect of ocean currents on dispersal patterns.

Image: Edgardo Ochoa

Richards et al. 2014

With an emphasis on human and animal health, my lab's major focus is to utilize comparative genomics, transcriptomics, population genomics, phylogenomics, and metagenomics to study how bacterial pathogens evolve, adapt, and interact. We aim to gain a better understanding of how these pathogens adapt, respond to, and move between different environments and hosts. In addition, we have a strong interest in the human microbiome, where we aim to gain a better understanding of the relationship between these communities and their environment and also the synergy among the microorganisms that comprise these systems. We also maintain an active interest in the evolution, population genetics, and genomics of a wide range of eukaryotes.



Department of Biological Sciences, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634