The Front Range of the Rocky Mountains is a hotbed of scientific research and innovation in microbiome science. From Colorado to Wyoming, scientists are leading ground-breaking microbial ecology research across humans, animals, the environment, and agriculture. Can we amplify this world-class science with better cross-pollination across labs and institutions?

With the goal of cultivating new symbiosis between Front Range researchers, the CSU Microbiome Initiative and Graduate Researchers Across Microbiomes (GRAM) is launching the 1st annual Front Range Microbiome Symposium. Please join us to kick off the event April 18th with a mixer, and stay through April 19th for two excellent keynote speakers, Jill Banfield and Ed Yong, as well as presentations and posters by faculty and early career scientists from universities, organizations, and industries across our region.

The symposium will be hosted by CSU at the new Canvas Stadium with excellent views of the Front Range. This generous venue and our uncongested schedule allows for abundant opportunities to meet and network with Front Range microbiome neighbors. We look forward to seeing you there!

Learn more about the CSU Microbiome Initiative and CSU Microbiome Network at, and follow us on twitter @CSUmicrobiome

Learn more about GRAM on Twitter @GRAM_CSU

Thank you to our sponsors!!!

Organizing Committee

Kelly Wrighton, Assistant Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University

Kelly is an Assistant Professor in the Soil and Crop Department at Colorado State University, with appointments in Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Ecology. She earned an Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley and did her post-graduate training at the same institution with Dr. Jill Banfield. The Wrighton laboratory uses computational systems biology approaches to obtain predictions of metabolic potential in both individual microorganisms and microbial communities. These computationally gained insights are then used to design laboratory investigations targeting physical, chemical, and biological controllers on biogeochemical processes. Collectively, her lab at CSU couples holistic and reductionist microbiology approaches to interrogate the interactions between organismal bioenergetics, interconnected community metabolism, and chemical processes.

Jessica Metcalf, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University

Jessica is an Assistant Professor in the Animal Sciences Department at Colorado State University. She earned a Ph.D. at University of Colorado and did her post-graduate training at the same institution with Dr. Rob Knight. The Metcalf laboratory uses high-throughput sequencing of bacterial and microbial eukaryotic communities to study how microbial communities change in response to disturbance events in both short time scales (decomposition of mammalian taxa) and long time scales (human population shifts to a western diet). Her lab brings together the fields of vertebrate evolution, microbial ecology, human health, and forensic science with innovative research tools to study the interactions between microbes and vertebrates during life and after death.

Mikayla Borton, Graduate Student, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, GRAM Representative

Mikayla is a third year graduate student in the Wrighton Lab at Colorado State University and the Graduate Researchers Across Microbiomes (GRAM) representative for the Front Range Microbiome Symposium. GRAM is a student organization at CSU that works to foster academic crosstalk and scientific dialog among graduate students and postdoctoral researchers working in the field of microbiome research. As such, GRAM will play a significant role in symposium planning, funding, and operation. It is our hope that this symposium will offer a venue for early career scientists at CSU and across the front range to present their individual work, provide opportunities for professional development, and engage in discussion with leaders in the field of microbiome research.