Research areas include natural microbials for digestive health, improving biofuel production using C. phytofermentans (Cphy) and microbial consortia, increasing rates of fiber degradation and plant carbohydrate transport, function of novel bacterial microcompartments, global warming and forest soil microbiomes, and development of new methods for metagenomics and metatranscriptomics.
Microbiome research is among the most exciting and promising areas of science today due to many technological advances, particular in high throughput DNA and RNA sequencing, that allow us to determine in complex environments which microbes are present and their metabolism. A prominent component of our research is using genomic and computational methods to understand the ecology and evolution of gut and forest soil microbiomes. Our laboratory is set up for standard molecular biology and microbial physiology research and contains specialized equipment for isolating and culturing anaerobic bacteria. The research we do has led to the discovery of new bacterial species and metabolic processes that have have far ranging impacts from developing probiotics to understanding climate change.
Learn more at www.bio.umass.edu/micro/blanchard/
- AS Vermont Technical College, 1983
- BS Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 1987
- PhD University of Georgia, 1995
- Postdoctoral Training: University of Oregon, 1995-1998
- Postdoctoral Training: Promega Corporation, 1998-1999