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Janet Jansson

Janet K. Jansson

Fundamental & Computational Sciences Directorate
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: J4-18
Richland, WA 99352


Janet Jansson is the Division Director of Biological Sciences at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). She is also PNNL's sector manager for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research's Biological Systems Science Division. Before coming to PNNL (June 2014) she was a senior staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2007-2014) and headed the Ecosystems Biology Program for the Earth Sciences Division at the Berkeley Lab. She also held Adjunct Professor positions at UC Berkeley and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, from 2012-2014.

Dr. Jansson obtained her Ph.D. in 1988 at Michigan State University and then established a successful research career in Sweden over the next 20 years. From 2000-2006 she was Professor and Chair of Environmental Microbiology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Vice Dean of the Natural Sciences Faculty, where she coordinated "The Uppsala Microbiomics Center," a Swedish strategic national center of excellence.

She has more than 30 years experience in microbial ecology. Her specific expertise is in the use of molecular approaches (omics) to study complex microbial communities, such as those residing in soil, sediments, and the human gut. Specific contributions include monitoring of bacteria and their physiological state in soil and in association with plants; in this capacity she conducted the first field trial of a genetically modified microbe in Sweden. Dr. Jansson also used multi-omics approaches to determine the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on water, beach, and sediment communities. She is currently studying the impact of climate change on microbial communities in prairie and arctic ecosystems; including a focus on the impact of warming on permafrost soil microbiomes. Dr. Jansson's research also focuses on the human microbiome, starting with determining long-term impacts of antibiotics on the gut microbiome, as well as impact of inflammatory bowel disease and diet. She was the first to show that the gut microbiome could be transferred upon fecal transplantation. Currently, she is coordinating Microbiomes in Transition (MinT), a large research initiative at PNNL that takes a multidisciplinary approach to determine how microbiomes are impacted by perturbations, such as climate change for environmental microbiomes and environmental exposures for human microbiomes.

Dr. Jansson is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, has more than 100 publications and is the editor of two books on molecular microbial ecology and a textbook on soil microbiology. She currently serves as the President of the International Society for Microbiology (ISME) and as a senior editor of The ISME Journal.

Research Interests

  • Environmental microbiology
  • Molecular microbial ecology
  • Human microbiome

Education and Credentials

  • B.S. Biology & Soil Science (dual), New Mexico State University, 1980
  • M.S. Soil Microbiology, Colorado State University, 1983
  • Ph.D. Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University, 1988
  • Postdoc. Biochemistry, Stockholm University, 1991

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • President: International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME) (2014-2016); Vice President/President elect (2012-2014)
  • Conference chair: Gordon Research Conference on Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2013; Vice Chair 2011); Co-Chair: ASM Beneficial Host-Microbe conference, San Antonio, TX (2012); Session Chair: "Permafrost Microbiology," AGU conference, San Francisco (2012); Conference chair: 10th Symposium on Bacterial Genetics and Ecology (BAGECO-10), Uppsala, Sweden (2009).
  • Co-Editor-in-Chief, The ISME Journal (2010-2012); Senior Reviews Editor (2013-present).
  • Editor, Mbio (2014-present)
  • Editorial Board member Environmental Microbiology, Current Opinion in Biotechnology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Microbiome
  • Steering Committee Member: Earth Microbiome Project (; NSF RCN TerraGenome (
  • Advisory Board Member: SciLifeLab (Sweden) > 2014
  • Invited expert to White House Roundtable on the Microbiome, Washington DC (2014)
  • Coordinator of the Swedish Network of Excellence: Uppsala Microbiomics Center (2006-2007)
  • Member of the Swedish Gene Technology Advisory Board (2000-2006)
  • Member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, National Committee for Biology (2006-2007)
  • Swedish representative for the International Union of Biological Sciences (2006-2007)
  • Coordinator of EU project: MAREP, Marker/reporter genes in Microbial Ecology with 26 partners from 11 different countries (1997-1999)

Awards and Recognitions

  • Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology (2013)
  • Faculty 1000 (2013)
  • Distinguished Francis C. Clark Lecture, Soil Science Society of America: recognizing achievements in soil biology (2013).
  • Recent Distinguished Lectures/Keynote addresses: AAAS Cutting Edge: The Art and Science of Climate Change (May 1, 2014) Washington, DC; Novartis: Multi-omics of the gut microbiome (Oct. 29, 2014) Emeryville, CA; Argonne Soil Metagenomics Conference: Permafrost soil metagenomics (Oct. 2-3, 2014) Chicago, IL; ASM Beneficial Microbes Symposium: Multi-omics of the gut microbiome (Sept. 28-30, 2014) Boston, MA; Complex Soil Systems Conference: Untangling complexity of soil microbiomes (Sept. 4, 2014) Berkeley, CA; International Society of Microbial Ecology: Omics of the gut microbiome (Aug. 22-28, 2014) Seoul, S. Korea; Monsanto Fellows Symposium (Jan. 7-8, 2014) Saint Louis, MO; Keynote debate, Danish Society of Microbiology (Nov. 19, 2013), Copenhagen, Denmark; Frontiers in Biology Distinguished Lecture Series, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, (Sept. 12, 2013) Edmonton, Canada; Distinguished lecture, 8th CeBiTec Symposium, (Oct. 28-30, 2013) Bielefeld, Germany. Inspiring Wisdom Distinguished Lecture of State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism (SKMML) (June 3, 2013) Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China; Distinguished Lecture. Microbial Sciences Initiative at Harvard, (April 14, 2012), Harvard, MA; UT/ORNL/KBRIN Bioinformatics Summit: (March 30-April 1, 2012), Louisville, KY; AAAS: Earth Microbiome Project (Feb. 16-20, 2012) Vancouver, BC.

PNNL Publications


  • Carillo-Araujo M, N Tas, RJ Alcntara-Hernndez, O Gaona, JE Schondube, RA Medellin, JK Jansson, and LI Falcon . 2015. "Phyllostomid bat microbiome composition is associated to host phylogeny and feeding strategies." Frontiers in Microbiology 6:Article No. 447.  doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00447
  • Hultman J, MP Waldrop, R Mackelprang, M David, J McFarland, SJ Blazewicz, JW Harden, M Turetsky, AD McGuire, MB Shah, NC VerBerkmoes, LH Lee, K Mavrommatis, and JK Jansson. 2015. "Multi-omics of Permafrost, Active Layer and Thermokarst Bog Soil Microbiomes." Nature 521(7551):208-212.  doi:10.1038/nature14238

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