microbes-sem

Belly Button Biodiversity

Public Science | Your Wild Life Projects

The coolest study of biodiversity on the human body on the planet!

The belly button is one of the habitats closest to us, and yet it remains relatively unexplored. In January 2011, we launched Belly Button Biodiversity to investigate the microbes inhabiting our navels and the factors that might influence the microscopic life calling this protected, moist patch of skin home. In addition to inspiring scientific curiosity, Belly Button Biodiversity inspired conversations about the beneficial roles microbes play in our daily lives.

Belly Button Biodiversity Showcase

Explore the amazing diversity of cultured bacteria from some of our participants’ belly buttons!

People

Dan Fergus, Post-doc
Sarah Council, Post-doc, NC Museum of Natural Sciences and NC Central University

Project Publications

Hulcr, J., Latimer, A. M., Henley, J. B., Rountree, N. R.**, Fierer, N., Lucky, A., Lowman, M. D., Dunn RR 2012. A jungle in there: bacteria in belly buttons are highly diverse, but predictable. PLoS ONE 7(11): e47712. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047712

Project Creations