Environmental Pollution and Sediment Metagenomes

Metagenomics is the DNA sequence identification of all organisms from the environment, including Boz Institute targets – the Tijuana River Estuary, wastewater, and local residential communities. With estimates of trillions of microorganisms inhabiting the earth, and less than 0.001% cultured or DNA sequence identified, the possibilities are endless. Using next-generation sequencing, our metagenomics team tests the utility of microorganisms as bioremediation tools against environmental pollutants, and studies antimicrobial resistance mechanisms and natural product discoveries for therapeutics. Can you transform global health and well-being through metagenomics?

Our scientists are pre-college and college students worried about and committed to improving environmental health in their communities. This microorganism diversity, or lack of, can suggest the presence of chemical/biological hazards in our communities. We strive to bring awareness, at the scientific and political levels by creating an open-source, interactive genome/chemical mapping tool powered by our citizen scientists.

*For more about this project, contact ken@bozinstitute.org


Ken Hirata

Salem Yohannes

Zuying Feng

Sex, Mating, Metagenomes: a symbiotic stress response?

Flies, like humans, have sex to maintain their populations. Both species depend on microbiomes (all bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their genes) living on and in their bodies. A host’s microbiome contributes to health and wellness by protecting against pathogens, helping develop and maintain immunity, digestion, and metabolism, and can significantly affect the response to stress. Does mating affect an individual’s microbiome composition? We study non-mating vs. mating female and male fruit flies to better understand how sex, mating, and metagenome composition affect stress response.

*For more about this project, contact info@bozinstitute.org


Natalie Olander

Flannery McLamb

Jenna Jedlicki