Professor Mark Morrison

Chair and Principal Group Leader


    About me

    Prof Morrison undertook a PhD and postdoctoral training at the Universities of Illinois and Michigan, respectively, between 1988 and 1992. Following his training he held tenured faculty appointments initially with the University of Nebraska, then The Ohio State University (since 2000). In 2006 he returned to Australia as a CSIRO science leader in metagenomics, serving as the stream leader for Gut Health in CSIRO’s Preventative Health National Flagship Research Program.

    He also served as one of CSIRO’s five “Capability Platform leaders” (in Transformational Biology) between 2007 and 2013; before being appointed as the Chair in Microbial Biology and Metagenomics with the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute in October 2013.  

    His research interests are to translate genomic and metagenomic datasets into a sound biological framework, producing novel diagnostic, organismal, and enzyme-based technologies. His early training and career activities were in microbial physiology and metabolism, principally with applications in livestock and paediatric nutrition. He attained international acclaim for his efforts to successfully develop and use genomics and related methods to study anaerobic “commensal” gut bacteria, which includes producing the first genome sequences for Ruminococcus and Prevotella spp.; both genera now widely acknowledged to play a key role in establishing human gut “enterotypes”.


    Top Three Publications

    • Pope PB, Smith W, Denman SE, Tringe SG, Barry K, Hugenholtz P, McSweeney CS, McHardy AC, Morrison M. Isolation of Succinivibrionaceae implicated in low methane emissions from Tammar wallabies. Science.  2011 Jul 29;333(6042):646-8.

    • Mondot S, Kang S, Furet JP, Aguirre de Carcer D, McSweeney C, Morrison M, Marteau P, Doré J, Leclerc M. Highlighting new phylogenetic specificities of Crohn’s disease microbiota. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2011 Jan;17(1):185-92.

    • Kang S, Barak Y, Lamed R, Bayer EA, Morrison M. The functional repertoire of prokaryote cellulosomes includes the serpin superfamily of serine proteinase inhibitors. Mol Microbiol. 2006 Jun;60(6):1344-54.