Ph.D., Duke University
M.S., North Carolina State University
My research incorporates microbial ecology, nutrition, and comparative gut morphology to investigate novel questions using perfect, unusual systems. For over a decade I have investigated evolutionary adaptation across scales and species, between non-human primates and rogue (herbivorous) carnivores and their gut microbes. More recently, I have engaged the public, particularly students, to study the microbes in sourdough starters and other fermented foods.
In the classroom, I cultivate critical thinking through active learning. Millennial students are not limited by access to content; I focus, instead, on practicing current techniques to collect and analyze novel datasets. By designing my courses around authentic research experiences, I encourage student autonomy and foster practicing scientists.
Greene, L.K., McKenney, E.A. The inside tract: the appendicular, cecal, and colonic microbiome of captive aye-ayes. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23481. [PDF]
McKenney, E.A., Koelle, K., Dunn, R.R., Yoder, A.D. (2018). The ecosystem services of animal microbiomes. Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/mec.14532. [PDF]
McKenney, E. A., O’Connell, T. M., Rodrigo, A., & Yoder, A. D. (2017). Feeding strategy shapes gut metagenomic enrichment and functional specialization in captive lemurs. Gut microbes. DOI: 10.1080/19490976.2017.1408762. [PDF] >> press release <<
McKenney, E. A., Maslanka, M., Rodrigo, A., & Yoder, A. D. (2017). Bamboo Specialists from Two Mammalian Orders (Primates, Carnivora) Share a High Number of Low-Abundance Gut Microbes. Microbial ecology, 1-13. Doi: 10.1007/s00248-017-1114-8 [PDF] >> press release <<
McKenney, E. A., Greene, L. K., Drea, C. M., & Yoder, A. D. (2017). Down for the count: Cryptosporidium infection depletes the gut microbiome in Coquerel’s sifakas. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, 28(1), 1335165. [PDF] >> press release <<
McKenney, E., Flythe, T., Millis, C., Stalls, J., Urban, J. M., Dunn, R. R., & Stevens, J. L. (2016). Symbiosis in the Soil: Citizen Microbiology in Middle and High School Classrooms. Journal of microbiology & biology education, 17(1), 60. [PDF]
McKenney, E. A., Rodrigo, A., & Yoder, A. D. (2015). Patterns of gut bacterial colonization in three primate species. PloS one, 10(5), e0124618. [PDF]
McKenney, E. A., Williamson, L., Yoder, A. D., Rawls, J. F., Bilbo, S. D., & Parker, W. (2015). Alteration of the rat cecal microbiome during colonization with the helminth Hymenolepis diminuta. Gut microbes, 6(3), 182-193. [PDF]