This August four scientists from Kansas State University traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland to present their research at the 18th International Symposium of Microbial Ecology.

Doctoral students Hannah Dea and Tanner Richie made the trek with Professors Ari Jumpponen and Sonny Lee. They presented their latest findings on the mysteries of microbiomes—the throngs of bacteria, fungi, and other tiny life that dwell nearly everywhere, from human guts to bison-grazed prairies.

“I was excited to share my research and hear about research of others working on similar research questions,” said Dr. Jumpponen who studies the ecology of fungi in natural and manmade systems.

Ms. Dea said she was grateful to get to experience one of the premier conferences in her field, which takes place every two years and attracts about 1,750 scientists from around the world.

“Going to ISME was a great opportunity for me to share my work with the broader scientific community,” said Ms. Dea. “I had the chance to talk with several researcher from all over the world… [and] see where my research fits in the field of Microbial Ecology.”

Funding for the group’s research comes in part from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Track-1 Award titled Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas. This initiative promotes partnerships between Fort Hayes State University, Haskell Indian Nations University, Kansas State University, the University of Kansas, and Wichita State University.

4 scientists standing together

Kansas scientist in Switzerland

From left: Sonny Lee, Tanner Richie, Hannah Dea, and Ari Jumpponen.