Shasta Webb is a 2020 Leakey Foundation grantee whose research focuses on primate flexibility in dynamic environments. Her field work is on hold due to COVID-19 so she is focused on analyzing her large microbiome dataset.
A study funded in part by The Leakey Foundation investigated the links between parasite infection and the gut microbiome. Researchers discovered that the presence of parasites was strongly associated with the overall composition of the microbiome.
A study published on October 8, 2019, in the journal Genome Biology finds that despite our close genetic relationship to apes, the human gut microbiome is more similar to that of baboons than it is to that of apes like chimpanzees.
Our microbiome, the complex community of bacteria, fungi, parasites, and other microorganisms in and on our bodies, reflects the way we live. Most microbiome analyses have focused on people living in developed nations, but in the last several years, scientists have begun to investigate whether people in non-industrialized societies possess distinctly different microbiomes and, if so, what factors shape those differences.