Sarah Hird

Associate Professor

Molecular and Cell Biology / Microbiology


Education: BS University of Idaho, MS University of Idaho, PhD Louisiana State University, Post-doc University of California Davis

Research Interests: My main research questions are about the evolution of host-associated microbiomes and microbial phylogeography. I’m also interested in how we can use/create computational tools to answer those questions. Specifically, I focus on what factors shape and maintain the gut microbiomes of wild birds.

Selected Publications:

Gil JC, Hird SM. Multiomics Characterization of the Canada Goose Fecal Microbiome Reveals Selective Efficacy of Simulated Metagenomes. Microbiol Spectr. 2022 Dec 21;10(6):e0238422. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02384-22. Epub 2022 Nov 1. PMID: 36318011; PMCID: PMC9769641.

Capunitan D, Johnson O, Terrill RS, Hird SM. Evolutionary signal in the gut microbiomes of 74 bird species from Equatorial Guinea. Molecular Ecology, 29(4):829-847.

Kirsten Grond, Kayce C Bell, John R Demboski, Malia Santos, Jack M Sullivan, Sarah M Hird, No evidence for phylosymbiosis in western chipmunk species, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Volume 96, Issue 1, February 2020, fiz182,

Grond Kirsten, Guilani Hannah and Hird Sarah M. Spatial heterogeneity of the shorebird gastrointestinal microbiome7 Soc. open sci.

Hird SM, Sánchez C, Carstens BC, Brumfield RT. 2015. Comparative gut microbiota of 59 Neotropical bird species. Frontiers in Microbiology. In press. [DOI: doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.01403] (OPEN ACCESS)

Hird SM, Carstens BC, Cardiff SW, Dittmann DL, Brumfield RT. 2014. Sampling locality is more detectable than taxonomy or ecology in the brood-parasitic Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater). PeerJ, 2: 321. [DOI: 10.7717/peerj.321] (OPEN ACCESS)

Hird SM. 2012. lociNGS: a lightweight alternative for assessing suitability of next-generation loci for evolutionary analysis. PLoS ONE 7(10): e46847. [DOI: 10.137/journal.pone.0046847]  (OPEN ACCESS)

Hird SM, Brumfield RT and BC Carstens. 2011. PRGmatic: an efficient pipeline for collating genome-enriched second generation sequencing data using a “provisional-reference genome”. Molecular Ecology Resources, 11(4): 743-748. [DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2011.03005.x]

Hird S, Kubatko L and B Carstens. 2010. Replicated subsampling enables accurate species tree estimation in empirical systems. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 57(2): 888-898. [DOI:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.08.006]

Hird S, Reid N, Demboski J and J Sullivan. 2010. Introgression at differentially aged contact zones in red-tailed chipmunks (Tamias ruficaudus). Genetica, 138(8): 869-883.[DOI: 10.1007/s10709-010-9470-z]

Hird S and J Sullivan. 2009. Assessing gene flow across a hybrid zone in red-tailed chipmunks (Tamias ruficaudus). Molecular Ecology, 18: 3097-3109. [DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04196.x]

Contact Information
Mailing Address91 North Eagleville Road, Unit 3125, Storrs, CT 06269-3125
Office LocationBPB 408