Shrout Lab-Applied Microbiology at the
University of Notre Dame


The Shrout Lab is interested to better understand how bacteria function in resonse to their environment. We are particularly interested in the "sociomicrobiology" and motility of bacteria. Sociomicrobiology is the study of community effects of bacteria. Bacterial community behavior is important to many different aspects of bacteria, including: survival, infection, symbiosis, elemental cycling, and pollutant degradation.
One sociomicrobiology trait we study is intercellular signaling called "quorum sensing". Bacteria use quorum sensing similar to how we use various messaging technologies--they send out signals to locate any neighbors and coordinate certain bacterial functions. (image designed by Matthew J. Sarna.)

Our interdisciplinary research group works with colleagues in The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, The Department of Biological Sciences, and other departments to study sociomicrobiology-dependent cellular interactions, cellular motility, and biofilm development important to human health, the environment, and engineered systems.

We focus extensively on determining how single bacteria or groups of cells sense which environmental cues, coordinate gene expression and function among populations, and develop bacterial communities such as biofilms.

Above: Salmmonella enterica (red) swarms faster but is overcome and killed by swarming Pseudomonas aeruginosa (green).


Shrout Lab homepage