Contact Us


Department of Biological Sciences
phone: (208) 885-6280
fax:(208) 885-7905
Life Sciences South 252
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3051
Moscow, ID 83844-3051

Dr. Larry Forney

Larry J. Forney, Ph.D.

Office: LSS 441A
Email: lforney@uidaho.edu
Mailing Address: University of Idaho
Dept. of Biological Sciences
875 Perimeter MS 3051
Moscow, ID 83844-3051

College of Science
Biological Sciences
University Distinguished Professor
Director of IBEST

Campus Locations: Moscow
With UI Since 2000

  • Research/Focus Areas
    • Community ecology, biodiversity, and biogeography of prokaryotes
    • Ecology of the human microbiome
    • Mechanisms of genetic diversification and speciation in bacteria
    • Adaptive evolution in spatially structured environments
  • Selected Publications
    • Gajer, P., Brotman, R. M., Bai, G., Sakamoto, J., Schütte, U. M. E., Zhong, X., Koenig, S. S. K., et al. (2012). Temporal dynamics of the human vaginal microbiota. Science translational medicine4(132), 132ra52. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3003605
    • Ma, Z., Z. Abdo, and LJ. Forney. 2011. Caring about trees in the forest: incorporating frailty in risk analysis for personalized medicine. (in press)
    • Eastman, J. M., L.J. Harmon, H-J. La, P. Joyce, L.J. Forney. 2011. The onion model, a simple neutral model for the evolution of diversity in bacterial biofilms. J. Evol. Biol. 24:2496-2504.
    • Hunt, K. M., Foster, J. A., Forney, L. J., Schütte, U. M. E., Beck, D. L., Abdo, Z., Fox, L. K., et al. (2011). Characterization of the diversity and temporal stability of bacterial communities in human milk PLoS ONE, 6(6), e21313. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021313
    • Ravel, J., Gajer, P., Abdo, Z., Schneider, G. M., Koenig, S. S. K., McCulle, S. L., Karlebach, S., et al. (2011). Vaginal microbiome of reproductive-age women. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108 Suppl 1, 4680–4687. doi:10.1073/pnas.1002611107
    • Zhou, X., Brotman, R. M., Gajer, P., Abdo, Z., Schüette, U., Ma, S., Ravel, J., et al. (2010). Recent advances in understanding the microbiology of the female reproductive tract and the causes of premature birth Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2010, 737425. doi:10.1155/2010/737425
    • Forney, L.J., P. Gajer, C.J. Williams, G.M. Schneider, S. McCulle, S. Karlebach, R. Brotman, C.C. Davis, K. Ault and J. Ravel. 2010. Comparison of self-collected and physician-collected vaginal swabs for microbiome analysis. J. Clin. Microbiol. doi:10.1128/JCM.01710-09
    • Schütte, U.M.E., Z. Abdo, J. Foster, J. Ravel, J. Bunge, B. Solheim, and L.J. Forney. 2010. Bacterial diversity in a glacier foreland of the High Arctic. Mol. Ecol. 19:54–66.
    • Sota, M., H. Yano, J. Hughes, G.W. Daughdrill, Z. Abdo, L.J. Forney, and E.M. Top. 2010. Shifts in the host range of a promiscuous plasmid through parallel evolution of its replication initiation protein. ISME J. 4:1568-1580.
    • Lim, J.Y., H-J. La, H. Sheng, L.J. Forney, and C.J. Hovde. 2010. Plasmid O157 Influences Escherichia coli O157:H7 Sakai biofilm formation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76(3):963-6
    • Zhou, X, M.A. Hansmann, H. Suzuki, C.C. Davis, C.J. Brown, U. Schütte, J.D. Pierson and L.J. Forney. 2010. The vaginal bacterial communities of Japanese women resemble those of women in other racial groups. FEMS Immunology and Med. Microbiol. 58:169-181.
    • Ponciano, J.M., H.J. La, P. Joyce and L.J. Forney. 2009. Understanding the evolution of diversity in bacterial biofilms through stochastic population modeling. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 75:6047-6054.
    • Schütte, U.M.E., Z. Abdo, S.J. Bent, C.J. Williams, G.M. Schneider, B. Solheim, and L.J. Forney. 2009. Bacterial succession in a glacier foreland of the High Arctic. ISME J. 3, 1258-1268.
    • Hu, B., X. Zhou, L.J. Forney, S. Chen. 2009. Changes in microbial community composition following treatment of methanogenic granules with chloroform. Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy 28:60-71.
    • Zhou, X, R. Westman, R. Hickey, M.A. Hansmann, C. Kennedy, T.W. Osborn, and L.J. Forney. 2009. Vaginal microbiota of women with frequent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Infect. Immun. 77 (9): 4130-4135.
    • Yamamoto, T., X. Zhou, A. Hochwalt, L.J. Forney. 2009. Bacterial populations in the vaginas of healthy adolescent women. J. Ped Adol Gynecol. 22: 11-18.
    • Noguez, A.M., A.E. Escalante, L.J. Forney, M. Nava-Mendoza, I. Rosas, V. Souza, F. Garcia-Oliva. 2008. Soil aggregates in a tropical deciduous forest: effects on C and N dynamics, and microbial communities as determined by t-RFLPs. Biogeochemistry 89: 209-220.
    • Suzuki, H., C.J. Brown, L.J. Forney, and E.M. Top. 2008. Comparison of correspondence analysis methods for synonymous codon usage in bacteria. DNA Research, doi:10.1093/dnares/dsn028
    • Foster, L., S. Krone, L.J. Forney. 2008. Application of ecological network theory to the human microbiome. Interdisc. Perspectives Infect Dis. Vol. 2008, doi:10.1155/2008/839501.
    • Schuette, U.M.E., Z. Abdo, S.J. Bent, C. Shyu, C.J. Williams, J.D. Pierson, L.J. Forney. 2008. Advances in the use of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of 16S rRNA genes to characterize microbial communities. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 80: 365-380.
    • Escalante, A.E., L.E. Eguiarte, L. Espinosa-Asuar, L.J. Forney, A.M. Noguez and V. Souza. 2008. Diversity of aquatic prokaryotic communities in the Cuatro Ciénegas basin: evidence of highly structured communities. FEMS Microbial Ecol. 65:50-60.
    • Heijs, S.K., A. M. Laverman, L.J. Forney, P.R. Hardoim, and J.D. van Elsas. 2008. Comparison of deep-sea sediment microbial communities in the Eastern Mediterranean. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 64:362–377.
    • Bent, S.J. and L.J. Forney. 2008. The tragedy of the uncommon: understanding limitations in the analysis of microbial diversity. ISME J 2: 689-695.
  • Research Projects
    • Human Microbiome
      The microbiota normally associated with the human body have an important influence on human development, physiology, immunity, and nutrition. The vast majority of these indigenous microbiota exists in a mutualistic relationship with their human host, while others are opportunistic pathogens that can cause both chronic infections and life-threatening diseases.
    • Biodiversity and Biogeography
      Recent advances in genomics and high throughput sequencing make it possible to characterize the extraordinary microbial diversity found on Earth in ways that were never before possible. The data obtained enables us to test hypotheses regarding patterns and processes in microbia communities, and to gauge responses to changing environmental conditions, perturbations, and treatments.
    • Biofilms
      Mechanisms that lead to the genesis and maintenance of diversity in communities have intrigued both geneticists and ecologists alike for decades. This is particularly challenging in studies of microbial communities in which ecological and evolutionary processes occur on roughly the same timescale and where the outcome of these processes are affected by the spatial structure in which these communities grow.
  • Awards and Honors
    • 2011 Excellence in Interdisciplinary Research, University of Idaho
    • 2009 Alumni Award for Excellence, Undergraduate Research Mentor, University of Idaho
    • 2009 Research Excellence Award, University of Idaho
    • 2008 Alumni Award for Excellence, Undergraduate Research Mentor, University of Idaho
    • 2008 IDeA Biomedical Research Excellence, Faculty Mentor Award, University of Idaho
    • 2008 Fellow, American Academy for Microbiology
    • 1999 Teaching Excellence, Undergraduate Biology Students, University of Groningen

Related Programs