Gene Tyson

Professor Tyson is internationally recognised as an expert microbial ecologist and bioinformatician. Over the last decade, he has been at the forefront in the development and application of culture-independent molecular approaches that provide direct access to microbial ‘dark matter’.

Professor Tyson’s research discoveries have been recognized by the Australian Society for Microbiology, who awarded him the Frank Fenner Award in 2015, and International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME), who named him Young Investigator Award in 2016. He has been recognized as a Highly Cited Researcher (top 1% of cited scientists) for the past three years. In 2020, CI Tyson was recruited to the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to establish the Centre for Microbiome Research (CMR).

Professor Tyson has made substantial contributions over the course of his career, including seminal papers demonstrating the development and application of metagenomics (Nature, 2004), metatranscriptomics (PNAS, 2008; Nature 2009), and metaproteomics (Science, 2005) to microbial communities. These approaches bypass traditional cultivation bottlenecks, and have revolutionised how the structure and function of microbial communities is studied. This research has paved the way for numerous important discoveries in microbiology, including work by CI Tyson’s team which has led to identifying important microbial lineages that regulate the Earth’s carbon cycle (Nature, 2015; Science 2018), previously unknown bacterial and archaeal lineages (Nature Microbiology, 2016;  Nature Microbiology, 2017), and characterisation of novel microbial metabolic functions (Nature, 2013; Nature, 2018). His team has also made important contributions to the development of novel bioinformatic tools for the analysis of meta-omic data (Nature Methods, 2012; Nucleic Acids, 2013, Bioinformatics, 2014; Genome Research, 2015; Nucleic Acids, 2018). These widely used and highly cited bioinformatic tools (>5,000 citations) have undoubtedly helped the widespread adoption of meta-omics in microbiology.


+61 7 3443 7612

Project themes

Selected publications

Professor Tyson has authored more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers and five book chapters. His research has been published in top tier journals, including seven papers in Nature, five papers in Science and three papers in PNAS and leading specialty journals. To date, his papers have been cited more than 23,500 times and he has a combined h-index of 67.


Research Impact

In addition to the knowledge impacts of CI Tyson’s academic research, significant economic impact for Australia have been achieved through commercialisation of his research. Recognising the potential of meta-omics to understand the role of the microbiome in human health and disease, CI Tyson co-founded Microba, a microbial biotechnology company that provides consumer and clinical services to characterise the human microbiome, with the ultimate goal of developing microbiome-derived diagnostics and therapeutics. Microba employs 50+ people in Australia and the United States, with operations in seven different countries. The company has secured major deals with large multinational pharmaceutical and food/supplement companies, and is currently moving into Phase 1 trials.