Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)



First Advisor

Dr. Kate Cooper


The abundant impact of microbiota on human physiology suggests a need for exploration into their impact on human health and disease. The American Gut Project (AGP) was established to aggregate microbiome sequencing data as well as health, diet, and lifestyle metadata. This study proposes to identify taxonomic species and build a phylogenetic tree representation from the AGP participant sample collection as well as find their respective alpha and beta diversity of all metadata variables based on patient questionnaire data. Additionally, this study will involve a chimeric sequence extraction from the 16S rRNA sequences of the AGP. The expected results are hypothesized to identify the Actinobacteria’s Bifidobacterium and the Firmicutes’ Lactobacillus as dominant genera, as well as significant correlation between digestive or intestinal diseases and the microbial diversity due to pathogenic species often present in the microbiome. The dominant phyla were found to be Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria. In contrast to predictions, the two dominant genera were found to be Bacteroides and Faecalibacterium. The subset of metadata variables that had a statistically significant correlation between both alpha and beta diversity were found which included variables relating to lifestyle habits, geographic location, diet habits, medical diagnoses, and environmental factors.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."