Anne Madden (biologist)

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Anne Arnold Madden, Ph.D. is an American biologist, inventor, and science communicator who advocates for finding "microbial solutions to human problems."[1]

Madden’s research on microscopic life is often featured in the press, particularly her studies on the microbial community of food,[2][3] using advanced DNA techniques to create the first atlas of arthropods in USA homes,[4][5][6] investigating the microscopic life in dust,[7] and using insect yeasts for ethanol production and beer brewing.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

Her research on insect-associated microorganisms lead to a patent application on the use of the yeast Lachancea thermotolerans for beer brewing[14] and the first commercialization of primary souring yeasts for making sour beer. She first isolated the yeast from wasps and bumblebees.[15] This technology formed the basis of the biotechnology company Lachancea LLC.

Madden discovered and named the species Mucor nidicola, a fungus that lives inside the nests of wasps.[16] Madden presented at the TED2017 conference in Vancouver, BC.[17] She has also presented at other TED events such as TEDxCharlotte[18] and TEDxGateway.[19] She was featured in the award-winning science documentary film "The Kingdom: How Fungi Made Our World."[20]

She has some of the most famous hair in science, as the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists—a group associated with the Ig Nobel Award[21]—named her woman of the year in 2015.[22]

Selected publications[edit]

  • The Microscopic Alchemist. PrimerStories.
  • The ecology of insect-yeast relationships and its relevance to human industry. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (2018) 285(1875)
  • The diversity of arthropods in homes across the United States as determined by environmental DNA analyses. Molecular Ecology (2016). 25(24): 6214-6224. doi: 10.1111/mec.13900
  • The emerging contribution of social wasps to grape rot disease ecology. PeerJ. (2017) 5:e3223; DOI 10.7717/peerj.3223
  • Microbes should be central to ecological education and outreach. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education.
  • Actinomycetes with antimicrobial activity isolated from paper wasp nests. Environmental Entomology. (2013) 42(2): 703-710.
  • Mucor nidicola sp. nov., a novel fungal species isolated from an invasive paper wasp nest. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.(2012) 62(7): 1710-1714. (*Cover)
  • First detailed report of brood parasitoidism in the invasive population of the paper wasp Polistes dominulus (Hymenoptera, Vespidae) in North America. (2010) Insectes Sociaux. 57(3): 257-260.
  • Sex-related differences in alkaloid chemical defenses of the dendrobatid frog Oophaga pumilio from Cayo Nancy, Bocas del Toro, Panama. (2009) Journal of Natural Products. 73(3): 317-321.
  • Neocitreamicins I and II, novel antibiotics with activity against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci. (2008) Journal of Antibiotics. 61(7):457-463. (*Cover)


  1. ^ Madden, Anne, Meet the microscopic life in your home -- and on your face, retrieved 2019-01-19
  2. ^ "Secrets of Sourdough". Gastropod. 2017-12-18. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  3. ^ "Sourdough Hands: How Bakers And Bread Are A Microbial Match". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  4. ^ "DNA in dust reveals truth about bugs lurking in our homes". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  5. ^ "The first nationwide map of the many insects that live in our houses". Newsweek. 22 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Scientists just completed a census of the creepy crawlies that live in our homes". Washington Post.
  7. ^ "What's hiding in my dust?". BBC News. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  8. ^ Mickle, Tripp (9 October 2015). "Tough Day? How About a Frosty Schooner of Pizza or Pond Scum?". Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^ "Your next happy hour buzz, brought to you by bees". PBS NewsHour.
  10. ^ "The Beers and the Bees: Pollinators Provide a Different Kind of Brewer's Yeast". Scientific American.
  11. ^ Mickle, Tripp (2015-10-09). "Tough Day? How About a Frosty Schooner of Pizza or Pond Scum?". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  12. ^ "Walk on the Wild Side With Beer Made From Wasp Yeast". National Geographic. 2015-09-29. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  13. ^ Biba, Erin (2018-06-29). "A Cocktail of Bugs and Yeast Could Make the Ultimate Biofuel". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  14. ^ "TEDx Gateway 2018: Microorganisms are source of our solutions, not problems, says microbiologist Dr Anne Madden". Free Press Journal. 3 February 2018.
  15. ^ Rimler, Rose (11 August 2015). "Yeast from bees makes nice beer". Waterloo Region Record.
  16. ^ "The secret lives of wasps". The Tufts Daily. 27 November 2011.
  17. ^ Madden, Anne, Meet the microscopic life in your home -- and on your face, retrieved 2018-09-14
  18. ^ TEDx Talks, Your new favorite flavor is going to come from yeast in insects | Anne Madden | TEDxCharlotte, retrieved 2019-01-19
  19. ^ "Dr. Anne Madden". TEDxGateway [2 Dec 2018, Mumbai] Independently Organized TED Event. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  20. ^ Smith&Nasht (2018-02-08), Watch THE KINGDOM - How Fungi Made Our World Online | Vimeo On Demand, retrieved 2019-01-19
  21. ^ "Improbable Research". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  22. ^ "Improbable Research » Blog Archive". Retrieved 2019-01-19.

External links[edit]