- B.A., Microbial Ecology & Botany, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany – 1999.
- M.S., Microbiology & Limnology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany – 2004.
- Ph.D., Microbiology & Biotechnology, Hamburg University of Technology, Hamburg, Germany – 2007.
- 2014 – 2021: Assistant Professor; University of California, Davis, CA
- 2011 – 2018: Adjunct Scientist; DOE Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA
- 2011 – 2014: Assistant Professor; Washington State University, Richland, WA
- 2011 – 2014: Senior Scientist; DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA
- 2007 – 2010: Postdoctoral Fellow; DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Research Area 1 - Animal Health/Animal Microbiology:
Microbes play a key part in the health and productivity of animals. The long-term goal of our research is to enhance our understanding of microbe-microbe and microbe-host interaction to ensure the well-being of the host organisms. Our current main focus is the microbiome of ruminants.
Research Area 2 - Climate Change/Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling:
Microbial communities associated with agricultural systems are major sources of greenhouse gases such as N₂O and CO₂. The Hess Lab studies how microbial communities in these systems can be manipulated to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Currently we are developing strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emission from ruminants, manure, and agricultural soils.
Research Area 3 - Natural Products:
Microorganisms are a potent source of fine and bulk chemicals. In the past, discovery and reconstruction of the genes and pathways involved in the synthesis of the final product was hindered by the recalcitrance of most microbes (~95-99% of all microbes) to isolation and cultivation. In our Lab we utilize a combination of different cultivation-independent approaches (e.g. single-cell technologies, phylogenomics, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and metametabolomics) to overcome this recalcitrance to cultivation. Recently we have been screening microbial communities from diverse ecosystems for carbohydrate and hydrocarbon active enzymes and for microbial products that have antimicrobial activity.
For a full description of the work conducted in the Hess lab, please visit the Hess Lab website
- Oyama L, Olleik H, Teixeira AC, Guidini M, Pickup J, Hui B, Vidal N, Cookson A, Vallin H, Wilkinson T, Bazzolli D, Richards J, Wootton M, Mikut R, Hilpert K, Maresca M, Perrier J, Hess M, Mantovani H, Fernandez-Fuentes N, Creevey C, and Huws S. In silico identification of two peptides with antibacterial activity against multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. npj Biofilms and Microbiomes. 2022. doi: 10.1038/s41522-022-00320-0.
- Nalla K, Kumar N, Dhillon HS, Kanade SR, Rokana N, Hess M, and Puniya AK. Impact of Probiotics on Dairy Production Efficiency. Frontiers in Systems Microbiology. 2022. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2022.805963
- Hess M, Paul SS, Puniya AK, van der Giezen M, Shaw C, Edwards JE, Fliegerova KO. Anaerobic fungi: past, present and future. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2020. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2020.584893.
- Hagen LH, Brooke CG, Shaw C, Norbeck AD, Piao H, Arntzen MØ, Brewer H, Copeland A, Isern N, Shukla A, Roux S, Lombard V, Henrissat B, O’Malley MA, Grigoriev IV, Tringe S, Mackie R, Pasa-Tolic L, Pope PB, Hess M. Proteome specialization of anaerobic fungi during ruminal degradation of recalcitrant plant fiber. ISMEJ. 2020. doi:10.1038/s41396-020-00769-x.
- Brooke C, Roque BM, Shaw C, Najafi N, Gonzalez M, Pfefferlen A, DeAnda V, Ginsburg DW, Harden MC, Nuzhdin SV, Salwen J, Kebreab E & Hess M. Methane Reduction Potential of Two Pacific Coast Macroalgae During in-vitro Ruminant Fermentation. Frontiers in Marine Science. 2020. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00561.
- Hess M, Sczyrba S, Egan R, Kim TW, Chokhawala H, Schroth G, Luo S, Clark DS, Chen F, Zhang T, Mackie RI, Pennacchio LA, Tringe SG, Visel A, Woyke T, Wang Z, and Rubin EM., Massive-Scale Metagenomic Discovery of Biomass-Degrading Genes and Genomes from Cow Rumen. Science. 2011; 331(6016):463-7.
For the the full list of all publications from the Hess Lab, please visit the Lab website
Awards & Honors
- 2021: Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship; University Honors Program; University of California, Davis, CA
- 2016: Hellman Fellowship; University of California, Davis, CA
- 2012-2017: Wiley Research Fellowship; Department of Energy Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Richland, WA
For a list of current and previous members of the Hess Lab, please visit the Lab website