Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Ken Krauter

Second Advisor

Dr. Robin Dowell

Third Advisor

Dr. Matt McQueen


The human microbiome is becoming just as important to understand and classify as the human genome itself, due to its impact on human health. Because of our symbiotic relationship with microbiota, the fact that we tend to acquire bacteria from our built environments, and also acquire them from one another, it is essential to understand them in and around our lived environments. Residential halls at universities are prime candidates to study, to understand that relationship. In this study, we investigated the microbial ecology within a Residential hall bathroom. We categorically looked at gender differences, location within the bathroom (i.e., sinks, toilets, and showers) and variation in sanitation. Collected samples were to be analyzed by V4 PCR amplicon DNA sequencing. In this thesis, I report the successful collection and quality control of the set of samples and their preparation for sequencing using a relatively novel DNA preparation method. Future research will characterize and analyze the identities and abundances of bacteria in this important set of dormitory locations.

Available for download on Friday, April 10, 2020

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Bacteria Commons