Published: June 23, 2021

Distribution of viral contigs
Map showing distribution of viral contigs.

A University of Colorado Boulder team is part of a major international effort to sample surfaces and the air on mass transit vehicles.

Two major international journals have published articles on the research, which included teams from CU Boulder engineering gathering samples on RTD light rail cars and at stations to document their public microbiological signatures.  

Professor Mark Hernandez’s laboratory is a founding member of the international consortium MetaSUB, that executed the sampling campaign. Marina Nieto-Caballero, an environmental engineering PhD student in Hernandez's lab who graduated in May, led the CU Boulder student teams through the efforts over the last few years.

The program was featured in a recent article in the New York Times: Subway Swabbers Find a Microbe Jungle and Thousands of New Species.

Journal links: