Jonathan Clayton is a postdoctoral associate in Dan Knights Lab at the University of Minnesota, where he is studying host-microbiome interactions in humans and nonhuman primates. He is using nonhuman primates as a model for studying the effects of variations in dietary fiber and other dietary compounds, as well as lifestyle factors associated with modernized society, on the microbiome and metabolic health. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) and his Ph.D. in Comparative and Molecular Biosciences from the University of Minnesota. For his Ph.D. thesis research, he used nonhuman primates as a model system for studying the effects of emigration and lifestyle disruption on the human gut microbiome.
During his Ph.D., Jonathan and his collaborators started the Primate Microbiome Project (PMP) with the intended purpose to develop a systematic map of variation in microbiome structure and function across all primates and to relate this to primate health, evolution, behavior, and conservation. Prior to his D.V.M and Ph.D., Jonathan obtained a B.A in Religion & Philosophy and a B.S. in Biology at Barton College, and a Certificate of Primatology at Duke University. While at Duke, he studied slender loris (Loris tardigradus) feeding behavior at the Duke Lemur Center. Jonathan plans to extend his current research to explore in detail causal mechanisms for microbiome-modulated metabolic diseases including diabetes and obesity.