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Katherine R. Amato

Katie Amato is a biological anthropologist studying the gut microbiota in the broad context of host ecology and evolution. She is a trained field primatologist, and her perspectives on physiology, plasticity, and fitness in this environment inspired her interest in host-gut microbe interactions. She is particularly interested in bringing a global health perspective to human microbiome research by describing how changes in the gut microbiota impact nutrition and health in human populations around the world, and pinpointing the social and biological mechanisms that lead to these changes. Her current research focuses on microbial contributions to host nutrition during periods of food shortage or increased nutritional demands (e.g pregnancy), as well as microbial influences on growth, brain metabolism, obesity, and metabolic disease. She also uses non-human primates as models for studying host-gut microbe interactions in selective environments and to determine whether the human gut microbiota has characteristics that are unique among primates.


University of Michigan Early Career Scientists Symposium, Invited Speaker, 2015.

TEDx Jackson Hole Speaker, 2015.

National Geographic Young Explorer, 2007.

Fulbright Garcia-Robles Fellow, 2007.


CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar Humans & the Microbiome


Northwestern UniversityDepartment of Anthropology


PhD (Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

AB (General Biology) Dartmouth College


United States

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