Wrighton is an assistant professor in Colorado State University’s Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. She was cited for her “outstanding success in studying the genomics and biogeochemistry of soil and deep subsurface microbiomes.” Her work, the citation continues, combines a broad range of “omic” methods with geochemical analyses to reveal new insights into the understanding microbial diversity and interactions, in environments as diverse as hydraulically fractured shales and the guts of humans and ruminants.
The International Society for Microbial Ecology is a nonprofit association that represents a global network of researchers who study microbes in the environment and their interactions with each other. Wrighton is set to receive the Young Investigator Award at the organization’s meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, in August 2020.
Wrighton, a member of the CSU Microbiome Network, leads a research group that studies how microorganisms contribute to ecosystem processes, with a particular interest in carbon and nitrogen cycling. The Wrighton lab’s research has many applications: improving predictions of greenhouse gas emissions from soils; stabilizing gastrointestinal and heart health; and enhancing energy yield and longevity from hydrocarbon systems.