Dr. Berdy has a background in microbiology and received her PhD from Northeastern University where she focused her studies on the cultivation of bacteria from the Arctic. She then transitioned into the microbiome field, studying honeybees and their microbiome, and how it is impacted by pesticide usage. Currently, she works at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard studying the human microbiome and is the curator of the Broad Institute-Openbiome Microbiome Library. She teaches Biology 2 in our Online Prerequisites for the Health Professions course offerings.

  • Ph.D., Biology – Northeastern University – Boston, MA 
  • B.A., Biology (summa cum laude) – Skidmore College – Saratoga Springs, NY

Research Interests

  • Health and disease states associated with the human microbiome
  • Preserving and understanding the full biodiversity of the human microbiome, including under-represented and indigenous people
  • Understanding how the human microbiome has changed with industrialization


Brittany Berdy (2018) “Studies with bees: Pesticides and our microbiome.” Talk at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (invited guest, main speaker)

Brittany Berdy, Dawoon Jung, Manny Torralba, Slava Epstein, Karen Nelson. (2014) “Microbial Dynamics in Thule.” Talk at Thule Airbase: Thule, Greenland (main speaker)

Berdy B, Buerger S, Sousa A, Edson E, Halligan K, Ling L, Spoering S, Epstein SS. (2013) Do Slow Growers Exist?  American Society of Microbiology General Meeting 2013: Denver, CO (poster presentation)

M. Poyet, M. Groussin, S. M. Gibbons, J. Avila-Pacheco, X. Jiang, S. M. Kearney, A. R. Perrotta, B. Berdy, S. Zhao, T. D. Lieberman, P. K. Swanson, M. Smith, S. Roesemann, J. E. Alexander, S. A. Rich, J. Livny, H. Vlamakis, C. Clish, K. Bullock, A. Deik, J. Scott, K. A. Pierce, R. J. Xavier & E. J. Alm. A library of human gut bacterial isolates paired with longitudinal multiomics data enables mechanistic microbiome research. Nature Medicine, 2019 DOI: 10.1038/s41591-019-0559-3

Wang, G.H., Berdy, B.M., Velasquez, O., Sami, S.K., Minibiole K.P.C., Brucker, R.M. Experimental Hologenomic Evolution: Heritable effects of acute-pesticide poisoning on the microbiome and adaptation across host generations. In review. Cell: Host and Microbe

B. Berdy. (2018, October 7). “I can’t believe they’re letting me write this blog”: Imposter Syndrome, Science, and the Rest of the World. [web log comment]. https://www.hellobio.com/blog/i-cant-believe-theyre-letting-me-write-thi...

Brittany Berdy. 2018. Microbial community composition of lake sediment in Thule, Greenland during the summer of 2014. Arctic Data Center. doi:10.18739/A20C4G.

Berdy, B., Spoering, A., Ling, L., & Epstein, S. 2017. In situ cultivation of previously uncultivable microorganisms using the ichip. Nature Protocols. 12:2232-2242. doi:10.1038/nprot.2017.074

Kim, S., De  Jonghe, D., Kuelsa, A., Feldman, D., Vatanen, T., Bhattacharyya, R., Berdy, B., Gomez, J., Nolan, J., Epstein, S., & Blainey, P. 2017. High throughput Automated Microfluidic Sample Preparation for Microbial Genomics. Nature Communications. 8. 

Freeman-Gallant, C., Amidon, J., Berdy, B., Wein, S., Taff, C. & Haussmann, M. F. 2011. Oxidative damage to DNA related to survivorship and carotenoid-based sexual ornamentation in the common yellowthroat. Biol. Lett. Published online before print January 19, 2011. (doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.1186)

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