Laura Wegener Parfrey
Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia
Laura is fascinated by microbial diversity and enjoys exploring many facets of our microbial world. She got her scientific start investigating the eukaryotic tree of life, and carries this phylogenetic perspective into all aspects of her research. [CV]
Office phone: 604-827-2214
Lab phone: 604-827-1879
Location: Biodiversity Research Centre 109 (Office) and 170 (Lab)
Address: 2212 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
My research examines the drivers of host-associated microbial community diversity and function as well as the effects of the microbiome on host fitness and ecology. In particular, I am exploring the community structure, functional roles, and fitness benefits of microbes associated with marine macroalgae and seagrasses.
I’m interested in how eelgrass community structure varies temporally and spatially. More specifically, my research focuses on processes that drive eelgrass microbial colonization and how these communities facilitate or prohibit wasting disease.
Background: University of Angers (BSc), University of Montpellier (MSc)
I am interested in the interaction between eukaryotic microbes, the gut microbiome (especially bacteria diversity), and the mammalian immune system in the context of human health. During my PhD, I will be exploring the role played by Hymenolepis diminuta and Blastocystis as potential modulators of the immune system and microbiota in humans and in mammalian models of immune-Mediated Diseases.
I am interested in ‘core’ microbiome in macroalgal species. Core members that are constantly associated with host species are often hypothesized as important symbionts for host biology. My research focuses on core bacteria to address host-microbe ecological questions and applied laboratory manipulation, with the aim of developing probiotics for kelp cultivation.
Background: University of Western Ontario (BSc), McGill University (MSc)
I am interested in the impact of the microbiome on host health. For my project, I will be studying the microbiome of sugar kelp to understand what microbes are consistently found on sugar kelp and what these microbes do.
I am interested in how changes to the gut microbiome impact health. Specifically, my project investigates how prenatal alcohol exposure affects the bacterial community composition, with the hope of providing insight to the development of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.