Janet Jansson, PhD

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA

A microbial ecologist with more than 30 years’ experience in the field, Dr. Janet Jansson is Chief Scientist for Biology in the Biological Sciences Division and a Laboratory Fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Jansson has authored over 160 publications, and is the editor of three books on microbiology and microbial ecology. She serves on the Executive Board of the International Society for Microbiology (ISME) and on numerous advisory panels, including the National Academy of Science Committee on Science Breakthroughs for Food and Agriculture by 2030. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Washington State Academy of Science.

Jansson studied soil microbiology at Colorado State University and earned her Ph.D. in Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University. Subsequently, Jansson was Professor, Chair of Environmental Microbiology, and Vice Dean at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; she has also held positions as senior staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley and at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jansson’s lab specializes in molecular approaches (‘omics) to study complex microbial communities: mainly, those in the natural environment and in the human gut. She studies the impact of climate change on microbial communities in prairie and arctic ecosystems—including how warming changes permafrost soil microbiomes and how drought changes grassland soils. Another arm of research focuses on the human microbiome: the impacts of diet, host genetics and inflammatory bowel disease on gut microbial functions. She currently leads the PNNL Microbiomes in Transition (MinT) research initiative, which takes a multidisciplinary approach to determining how microbiomes are impacted by perturbations such as climate change, and how environmental exposures impact the human microbiome.