Prof Mark Morrison, CSIRO Science Leader in metagenomics.
Prof Mark Morrison: leading metagenomics research
Prof Mark Morrison, a microbiologist, is one of the leaders of CSIRO’s research efforts to improve gut function and health.
30 November 2007 | Updated 9 April 2013
Prof Morrison is a CSIRO Science Leader in metagenomics and leads a research team at CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences, based at the Queensland Bioscience Precinct in Brisbane, Australia.
His research focuses on microbial genomics and metagenomics to improve our understanding of the roles microbial communities play in gut function and health.
The field of metagenomics is empowered by the latest developments in DNA sequencing and computational biology, circumventing the need to grow microbes under laboratory conditions in order to characterise their genetic material. This is important because only a small percentage of the microbial world can be readily cultured in the laboratory.
Metagenomics therefore supports a detailed analysis of 'real-world' microbial samples. By doing so, it can provide a much improved understanding of how microbial communities are structured and what processes they coordinate and influence in their natural environments.
Prof Morrison delivers his metagenomics research in three main areas:
- He is the Stream Leader for gut health in CSIRO’s Preventative Health National Research Flagship, focusing on the role of gut microbes in the onset of, and recovery from, inflammatory bowel diseases.
- He works closely with Dr Chris McSweeney, Stream Leader in CSIRO's Division of Animal, Food and Health Sciences, on a variety of projects targeting improved feed utilization and methane mitigation in livestock.
- He has initiated a series of metagenomics studies investigating the gut microbiomes of native Australian herbivores. His team has shown these animals possess unique microbes with potential applications in the food, health and agricultural industries.
Prof Morrison is one of the leaders of CSIRO’s research efforts to improve gut function and health.
After earning his PhD in 1991 from the University of Illinois, Prof Morrison worked as a postdoctoral fellow in bacterial genetics at the University of Michigan.
He joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1992 and moved to The Ohio State University in 2000, where he maintains a Professorship with the Department of Animal Sciences.
Prof Morrison was recruited back to Australia in 2006, joining CSIRO as Science Leader in Metagenomics as the first appointment under the Office of Chief Executive's Science Leader Scheme.
He also holds an adjunct Professorship with the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland.
Prof Morrison has been awarded a:
- Bachelor of Science from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
- Masters of Science in Tropical Veterinary Medicine from James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
- Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois, United States.
Prof Morrison currently serves as Australia’s science representative to the International Human Microbiome Consortium, and is the Chair for the 2011 International Congress on Gastrointestinal Function.
He also chaired the 2007 Gordon Research Conference on Cellulases and Cellulosomes.
Prof Morrison is a member of the Editorial Boards for the ISME-Journal, Microbial Ecology, and Frontiers in Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology.
He serves on several international scientific advisory committees and is the co-leader of CSIRO’s Transformational Biology Capability Platform.
Read more about CSIRO's work in Animal, Food and Health Sciences.