Swabbing Stadiums & Space Meetups


Which microbes live where?   Are there differences between the microbes on people’s shoes on the East Coast versus the West Coast?   Between basketball fan cell phones and football fan cell phones?   How do all these microbes compare to those found on the International Space Station?

Here on this planet, we collected 3000 swab samples at sporting events, space meetups, and other public events across the USA to answer these kinds of questions. We sampled microbes found on cell phones and shoes from participants at these events. Sampling was done in collaboration with Jack Gilbert at the Earth Microbiome Project and the Science Cheerleaders who organized and lead the sampling events.