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Our Microbial Planet

While a Communications Officer at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Anne developed this suite of products as part of a broad outreach strategy focused on emerging discoveries about the amazing ways microbes benefit us and the planet. Each product was designed to communicate to a specific audience—ranging from middle school students to college professors to scientists—to deliver key messages to the right people in the right way.

This booklet, intended for a lay audience, celebrates the microbes that make all other life on Earth possible. It presents a basic introduction to the microbiome and explains how an innovative scientific technique known as metagenomics can help researchers tap into the microbial world for applications in medicine, life sciences, and Earth sciences. Anne also shepherded it through an intensive review process with multiple expert stakeholders and developed a suite of complementary materials as part of a multi-pronged outreach campaign.

Understanding Our Microbial Planet: The New Science of Metagenomics

Understanding Our Microbial Planet: The New Science of Metagenom

Think all microbes are bad guys? Think again. This poster, developed for students and teachers, celebrates the much-maligned microbial world and highlights the many ways microbes support and enable human life. It also introduces a research approach known as metagenomics that researchers use to capture the genetic diversity of microbes without the challenging process of culturing them.


Anne worked with experts in the field to develop content for this poster, published as an insert in the journal Nature Reviews Microbiology. With a target audience of researchers, the poster’s purpose was to spread awareness and increase adoption of a promising new method of extracting microbial DNA directly from environmental samples.


Additional products in this suite of materials include:

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