Microbiome scientist Kelly Wrighton, an assistant professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers who are starting their research careers and show exceptional promise in science and technology leadership.
Wrighton joined Colorado State University’s faculty in 2018 from Ohio State University. She leads a research group studying how microorganisms contribute to ecosystem processes, exploring microbial communities in a range of environments. These include river systems, soils, the human gut, and hydraulically fractured shales.
Her research has implications for soil health; improved predictions of greenhouse gases; optimized energy recovery from hydrocarbon systems; and stabilized human gastrointestinal function. Her lab uses genomics-enabled technologies to inventory microbial gene content and expression.
Established in 1966, the PECASE acknowledges the contributions scientists and engineers have made to the advancement of STEM education and to community service. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates the PECASE with participating departments and agencies. A ceremony to honor the awardees will take place July 25.