My research combines the tools of nutrition, physiology, microbial ecology, and anthropology to answer critical questions in biological anthropology and organismal biology. I am interested in studying the dynamics between the gut microbiota and their hosts in the broad context of host ecology and evolution. Specifically, I am focused on how the gut microbiota responds to shifts in host diet and physiology and the resulting impact on host nutrition and health. Such interactions are likely to affect host fitness and have important implications for host ecology and evolution.

My work addresses these topics in both non-human primates and humans. I use non-human primates as models to study host-gut microbe interactions in selective environments and to determine whether the human gut microbiota has characteristics that are unique among primates. Most of my fieldwork has been with non-human primates in southeastern Mexico, but I have now established projects with both humans and non-human primates in other parts of the world. I am interested in understanding how changes in the gut microbiota impact human nutrition and health in populations around the world, especially those with limited access to nutritional resources.