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Dr. Youssef's Lab

Our lab is primarily interested in the phylum Neocallimastigomycota, the fungal phylum of anaerobic gut fungi (AGF). AGF play a role in plant biomass degradation in many herbivorous animals. The lab is active in investigating the ecology, metabolic capabilities, and genomics of the Neocallimastigomycota.


We are also interested in the metagenomics and metatranscriptomics of anoxic environments. In addition to this, we are exploring the causes of algal blooms in freshwater lakes.


In summary, our research is active on several fronts:


  • Isolation, characterization, and genomic sequencing of anaerobic gut fungi.
  • Microbial ecology of anoxic environments: metagenomics and metatranscriptomics.
  • Investigating the source of harmful algal blooms in freshwater lakes.

Classes Taught


  • Introductory Microbiology (MICR 2123)
  • As well as an honors add-on to the course, MICR 2890.

Spring (Even Years)

  • Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics (MICR 4543, or graduate catalog, MICR 5543)

Photo of Jenna Borrelli

I started off at Oklahoma State as a Sports Media major. Before my first semester of freshman year ended, I felt a pull towards the medical field so I switched to Biochemistry Pre-Med. As soon as I took the Introduction to Microbiology lecture, taught by Dr. Youusef, I immediately switched my major to Microbiology Pre-Med. I knew this was the major for me because I didn’t dread going to class, and learning the material came natural because of my huge interest. I’m so dedicated to this science that I started doing environmental microbial research with Dr. Youssef, and I recently was awarded the Niblack Research Scholarship. This major makes me want to say in college forever!

- Jenna Borrelli
Microbiology Pre-Med
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