The human body is home to an extraordinary diversity of microbes, which are increasingly suggested to play pivotal roles in human health. Human microbiome sequencing projects have revealed intriguing correlations between specific patterns of microbial diversity and multiple aspects of host health. The establishment of microbial causal roles is gathering pace thanks to experimental manipulations, however the inter-cellular causal mechanisms frequently remain obscure.
The Brown lab is developing a framework to understand microbiome developmental biology – to understand when, where and how potential interactions come to be realized via demographic and regulatory interactions between expanding lineages of bacteria, and the consequences of these interactions for microbiome functioning in both health and in polymicrobial disease.
NV Lowery, L McNally, WC Ratcliff, SP Brown 2017. Division of labor, bet hedging, and the evolution of mixed biofilm investment strategies mBio.
L McNally, SP Brown. 2016. Microbiome: Ecology of stable gut communities. Nature Microbiology 1, 15016
A Stacy, L McNally, SE Darch, SP Brown, M Whiteley. 2016. The biogeography of polymicrobial infection. Nature Reviews Microbiology 14 (2), 93-105
McNally L, Brown SP* (2015) Building the microbiome in health and disease: niche construction and social conflict in bacteria. Phil Trans R Soc Lond B 370, e20140298
Single gene locus changes perturb complex microbial communities as much as apex predator loss. 2015. D McClean, L McNally, LI Salzberg, KM Devine, SP Brown, I Donohue. Nature communications 6, 8235-8235
Estrela S, Whiteley M, Brown SP. 2015. The demographic determinants of human microbiome health. Trends Microbiology 23, 134-141.
Estrela S, Brown SP (2013) Metabolic and demographic feedbacks shape the emergent spatial structure and function of microbial communities. PLOS Computational Biology 9, e1003398.
Estrela S, Trisos C, Brown SP (2012) From metabolism to ecology: cross-feeding interactions shape the balance between polymicrobial conflict and mutualism. American Naturalist 180, 566-576.
Rankin D, Rocha EPC, Brown SP* 2011. What genes are carried on mobile genetic elements, and why? Heredity 106 ,1-10.
Lysenko ES, Lijek RS, Brown SP & Weiser JN. 2010. Within-host competition drives selection for the capsule virulence determinant of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Current Biology
Brown SP, Inglis R, Taddei F. 2009. Evolutionary ecology of microbial wars: within-host competition and (incidental) virulence. Evolutionary Applications 2, 32-39.
Brown SP, Le Chat L, De Paepe M, Taddei F. 2006. Ecology of microbial invasions: amplification allows virus-carriers to invade more rapidly when rare. Current Biology, 16, 2048-2052.