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jwalter

Jens Walter

Associate Professor and CAIP Chair

Science

Biological Sciences

About Me

Employment record
March 2014-now: Associate Professor and CAIP Chair for Nutrition, Microbes, and Gastrointestinal Health, Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science/Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada.
July 2012-February 2014: Associate Professor at the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, USA.
Sept. 2006-June 2012: Assistant Professor at the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, USA.
August 2004-Sept. 2006: Research Fellow at University of Otago, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Dunedin, New Zealand in the laboratory of Prof. Gerald. W. Tannock.
May-July 2004: Postdoctoral Fellow at University of North Carolina, Department of Medicine, Chapel Hill, USA in the laboratory of Prof. R. Balfour Sartor.
March 2003-April 2004: Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Otago, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Dunedin, New Zealand in the laboratory of Prof. Gerald W. Tannock.


Research


Major Responsibilities/Research Interests

Dr. Walter’s research is primarily concerned with the microbial ecology of the human and animal gastrointestinal tract and the metabolic and immunological interactions between the microbiome and its host in relation to health. He views the interrelationship of gut microbes with their host as a symbiosis and is especially interested in the evolutionary processes that have shaped this partnership and the biological outcomes for both the host and the microbes. He is also interested in how environmental factors (such as diet and lifestyle) and historic processes impact the microbial communities in the gut and what consequences their effects have for the host. His research, which is inter-disciplinary and highly collaborative, has resulted in several publications on the evolution of the model gut symbiont Lactobacillus reuteri, the importance of environmental (diet) and host factors (host genotype) on the composition and functionality of the gut microbiota, and the impact of diet on gut microbial ecology in relation to health.