The human microbiome is the community of microorganisms living on and in the human body, the majority of which inhabit the intestines.  These microorganisms are important collaborators in human physiology, and are essential for the proper functioning of our immune and digestive systems.  Increasingly, evidence is emerging to suggest that the disruption of this community, particularly in early life, may underpin the development of non-communicable diseases (including asthma, allergies, obesity, and autoimmune diseases).  In early life we acquire our microbes largely from our mothers, through direct contact and breastfeeding.  Human milk is a major source of beneficial microbes and is the primary driver of the infant gut microbiome.  The group seeks to understand factors that affect the human milk microbiome, including maternal diet and health.  We also aim to optimise and standardise analysis of the human milk microbiome to better understand its composition.  We currently have two PhD students and a postdoc working in this field.  We have a number of student projects available for honours and masters students (see below).  Prospective PhD students are welcome to discuss potential projects with us.