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Expert in primate gut microbiomes to speak at NMSU Wednesday

The New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is hosting Andres Gomez as a seminar speaker for the NMSU community Wednesday, Sept. 6.


Man in blue plaid shirt standing outdoors.
Andres Gomez is the seminar speaker at New Mexico State University Wednesday, Sept. 6, at Gerald Thomas Hall. His seminar is titled, “A meta-OMIC view of the primate gut microbiome: Implications for human health, ecology, and evolution.” (Photo courtesy Andres Gomez)

Gomez is an expert in primate gut microbiome. He will speak about his research at a free seminar from 4 to 5 p.m. in Gerald Thomas Hall, Room 200. His seminar is titled, “A meta-OMIC view of the primate gut microbiome: Implications for human health, ecology, and evolution.”

Jerry Sims, department head for NMSU’s Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science, said most of Gomez’s work has human health implications.

“He is doing research on human and animal gut microbiomes, which is a wildly popular topic,” Sims said. “He and his collaborators have worked on various topics, including diet and health. Add the fact he has worked with pygmy tribes and lowland gorillas, and it gets quite interesting.”

Microbiome research investigates how the bacteria that live in and on bodies affect health.

Gomez was most recently a scientist at the Craig Venter Institute, and he is currently transitioning to an assistant professor position at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Animal Sciences.

To understand how the gut microbiome is impacted by human adaptation to varying environments, Gomez and other researchers have explored gut bacterial communities among the hunter-gatherers in the BaAka rainforest, as well as their agriculturalist Bantu neighbors in the Central African Republic.

Sims became familiar with Gomez several years ago when Gomez worked in Sims’ lab at the University of Illinois.

“Andres was on an ASM (American Society for Microbiology) international student grant while he was a master’s student at the National University of Columbia in Medellin,” Sims said. “He was doing his research in Illinois on samples shipped to us from Columbia. He was using DNA stable isotope probing to look for microbes in sediments from a notorious garbage dump in Medellin known as Moravia Hill or El Moro.”

For more information about the seminar, contact Sims at gksims@nmsu.edu or 575-646-3225.