Intestinal microbes as an axis of functional diversity among large marine consumers

Welcome. This page provides a link to the website for our study on the intestinal microbiome of herbivorous reef fish entitled Intestinal microbes: as axis of functional diversity among large marine consumers. Microbes are ubiquitous throughout the world’s ocean yet the extent of their influence on the ecology and evolution of large, mobile fauna is poorly understood.

To access the complete bioinformatic workflow & raw data use the buttons at the top of the page or visit


In this study, we
  • Conducted field observations, which showed that five common Caribbean fish species display marked differences in where they feed and what they feed on.
  • Used 16S rRNA amplicon analysis of intestinal microbiomes from 50 individual fish across the 5 species to show a high degree of species-specific composition.
  • Performed phylogenetic comparison of dominant microbiome members to show that intestinal microbiome are a mixture of environmental generalists, animal-associates, and fish-specialists.
  • Found that the closest relatives of fish-specialists were microbes from intestines of ecologically and evolutionarily related fishes in other, distant oceans.

On this site you will find details on our reproducible bioinformatics workflow and how to access all data/data products. We also provide numerous data tables and figures including all tables, figures, and supplementary information from the original publiation.

Use the Cite button above to access a BibTeX formatted bibliography for the references we used in this study.

All banner photos on this page were retreived from Wikimedia Commons and Licensed under Creative Commons Attributions. Each photo was modified from the originals by removing the background.

Banner photos from left to right: Acanthurus bahianus/Acanthurus tractus (original) licenced under CC-0; Acanthurus coeruleus (original) by Sylfred1977 licenced under CC-BY-SA-3.0; Scarus taeniopterus (Desmarest 1831) (original), Sparisoma aurofrenatum (Valenciennes, 1840) (original), and Sparisoma viride (Bonnaterre, 1788) (original) all licenced under CC-BY-2.5 by Williams et. al., 2010.

Jarrod J Scott
Jarrod J Scott
Research Associate

I am interested in complexity, genomics, & natural history.