Lauren Nichols

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Website: Lauren Nichols
Twitter: @LaurenMNichols

Lauren Nichols

Research Technician and Lab Manager | Dunn Lab

I study the distribution and role of microbes and insects in the environment, mostly using tools of bioinformatics, community ecology and citizen science.  I’ve worked with a number of systems, including plants and invertebrates, recently focusing on microbial communities in sourdough, shower heads, and the guts of chimpanzees.

My role in the lab is varied and has grown and shifted along with the needs of grants and individual projects. I’ve served as lab manager, scientist, outreach and communication specialist, data manager, app developer, mentor, and (on a few unfortunate occasions) as plumber.

I am particularly interested in engaging others in the process of science and sharing excitement over new knowledge and insights. Using data visualization and photography, I strive to present science in accessible and engaging ways to the general public.


Landis, E.A., A.M. Oliverio, McKenney, E.A., Nichols, L.M., Kfoury, N., Biango-Daniels, M., Shell, L.K., Madden, A.A., Shapiro, L.R., Sakunala, S.K., Drake, K., Robbat, A., Booker, M., Dunn, R.R., Fierer, N., Wolfe, B.E. 2021. The diversity and function of sourdough starter microbiomes. eLife

Dunn, Robert R; Amato, Katherine R; Archie, Elizabeth A; Arandjelovic, Mimi; Crittenden, Alyssa N; Nichols, Lauren M (2020) The Internal, External and Extended Microbiomes of Hominins. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 8, 25. Link

Balbin, Michelle M; Hull, Dawn; Guest, Chloe; Nichols, Lauren; Dunn, Robert; Thakur, Siddhartha (2020) Antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors profile of Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli isolated from different environments exposed to anthropogenic activities. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance .

Gebert, M.J., Delgado-Baquerizo, M., Oliverio, A.M., Webster, T.M., Nichols, L.M., Honda, J.R., Chan, E.D., Adjemian, J., Dunn, R.R. and Fierer, N., 2018. Ecological analyses of mycobacteria in showerhead biofilms and their relevance to human health. Mbio9(5), pp.e01614-18.  Link

Just, M.G., Nichols, L.M. and Dunn, R.R., 2019. Human indoor climate preferences approximate specific geographies. Royal Society Open Science6(3), p.180695. Link

Gebert MJ, Delgado-Baquerizo M, Oliverio AM, Webster TM, Nichols LM, Honda JR, Chan ED, Adjemian J, Dunn RR, Fierer N. (2018)  Ecological analyses of mycobacteria in showerhead biofilms and their relevance to human health. Mbio.  9(5):e01614-18. Link

Ryan SF, Adamson NL, Aktipis A, Andersen LK, Austin R, Barnes L, Beasley MR, Bedell KD, Briggs S, Chapman B, Cooper CB, Corn JO, Creamer NG, Delborne JA,  Domenico P,  Driscoll E, Goodwin J, Hjarding A, Hulbert JM, Isard S, Just MG, Kar Gupta K, López-Uribe MM, O’Sullivan J, Landis EA,  Madden AA, McKenney EA, Nichols LM, Reading BJ, Russell S, Sengupta N, Shapiro LR, Shell LK, Sheard JK, Shoemaker DD, Sorger DM, Starling C, Thakur S, Vatsavai RR, Weinstein M, Winfrey P, Dunn RR. (2018) The role of citizen science in addressing grand challenges in food and agriculture research. Proc. R. Soc. B. 285(1891):20181977. Link

Diamond SE, Chick L, Penick CA, Nichols LM, Cahan SH, Dunn RR, Ellison AM, Sanders NJ, Gotelli NJ. (2017) Heat tolerance predicts the importance of species interaction effects as the climate changes. Integrative and Comparative Biology 57:112-120.

Diamond, S.E., Nichols, L.M., Pelini, S.L., Penick, C.A., Barber, G.W., Cahan, S.H., Dunn, R.R., Ellison, A.M., Sanders, N.J., and Gotelli, N.J. (2016). Climatic warming destabilizes forest ant communitiesScience Advances 2(10). View PDF.

NESCent Working Group on the Evolutionary Biology of the Built Environment, Laura J. Martin, ,Rachel I. Adams, Ashley Bateman, Holly M. Bik, John Hawks, Sarah M. Hird, David Hughes, Steven W. Kembel, Kerry Kinney, Sergios-Orestis Kolokotronis, Gabriel Levy, Craig McClain, James F. Meadow, Raul F. Medina, Gwynne Mhuireach, Corrie S. Moreau, Jason Munshi-South, Lauren M. Nichols, Clare Palmer, Laura Popova, Coby Schal, Martin Täubel,Michelle Trautwein, Juan A. Ugalde, Robert R. Dunn (2015) Evolution of the indoor biome. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2015.02.001. View PDF

Lucky, A., Savage, A.M. (co-first author), Nichols, L.M., Castracani, C., Shell, L., Grasso, D.A., Mori, A. and Dunn R.R. (2014). Ecologists, educators and writers collaborate with the public to assess backyard diversity in The School of Ants Project. Ecosphere 5(7). View PDF.

Pelini, S.L., S.E. Diamond, L.M. Nichols, K.L. Stuble, A.M. Ellison, N.J. Sanders, R.R. Dunn, N.J. Gotelli. 2014. Geographic differences in effects of experimental warming on ant species diversity and community composition. Ecological Society of AmericaView PDF.

Burt MA*, Nichols LM, Dunn RR, Sanders NJ (2014). Interactions in a warmer world: effects of experimental warming, conspecific density, and herbivory on seedling dynamics. Ecosphere 5:9. View PDF.

Sultan, S.E., T. Horgan-Kobelski, L.M. Nichols, C. Riggs, R. Waples. 2013. A Resurrection Study Reveals Rapid Adaptive Evolution Within Populations of an Invasive Plant. Evolutionary Applications. 6(2):266–278.

Diamond SE, Nichols LM, McCoy N, Hirsch C**, Pelini SL, Dunn RR (2012) A physiological trait-based approach to predicting the responses of species to experimental climate warming. Ecology 93: 2305-2312. View PDF.

Shik, J.Z., L.M. Nichols, A. Lucky, and M.H. Hoefnagels. Ants as Model Organisms to Study Species Coexistence. Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching. Vol. 34, 2013, p. 233-239.

Clark, J.S., D.M. Bell, M.H. Hersh, L. Nichols. 2011. Climate change vulnerability of forest biodiversity: climate and resource tracking of demographic rates. Global Change Biology 17(5): 1834-1849.

Lauren’s Creations