Fierer Lab

Exploring the structure and function of microbial communities


Miscellany from the Fierer lab and its affiliates.

Contamination in ‘aerobiome’ studies – a cautionary tale

Noah Fierer 2/10/2022 Studying the microbes found in outdoor air is inherently difficult. Not only is the atmosphere a highly dynamic system, but cell concentrations are typically very low, making sampling and downstream analyses challenging. Contamination is a persistent problem and concern when working with these types of samples, regardless of the method employed for

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Unclogging the peer review pipeline

Noah Fierer June 3, 2021 Peer review is a key part of science. Thorough reviews provide a critical check on the quality of scientific papers. Personally, nearly every paper I’ve been involved with has been greatly improved by going through the peer review process. Yes – crappy science still passes through peer review (exhibit A

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Publishing a scientific paper

Noah Fierer 2/21/2021 A short series of slides on the process of publishing a scientific paper (a.k.a. learning how the sausage is made). The process is confusing and rarely intuitive, so hopefully this is helpful. This is not meant to be a comprehensive overview, just some general tips to help early career researchers navigate the

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What’s in a number? Estimating microbial richness using DADA2

February 17th, 2020 Corinne Walsh & Noah Fierer Soils are often touted as harboring some of the most diverse microbial communities of any habitat on Earth. We typically expect to detect on the order of thousands of different bacterial taxa in a given soil sample using culture-independent sequencing methods. However, richness (number of distinct taxa

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