Scott Chimileski

Scott Chimileski

Scott Chimileski is a postdoctoral Research Fellow in Roberto Kolter’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School and a member of the ASM Writer Team. Scott's research is focused on emergent properties, social interactions and multicellular forms in microbes, along with methods for imaging these phenomena. He is also a photographer and writer working to communicate the biology of the microbial world to scientific and general audiences. For more information on Scott’s projects, follow him on Twitter @socialmicrobes or visit his website: microbephotography.

Long before microscopes were invented, ancient physicians and scholars imagined the existence of microbes.

Friday, 14 April 2017 14:37

Haunts of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek

Retrace the steps of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek in his home city of Delft in the Netherlands, where microbiology began.

Who took the first photograph through a microscope and who took the first photograph of a microbe?

Friday, 16 December 2016 14:08

The Natural History of Cheese Mites

Some of the most delicious aged cheeses are the natural habitat of tiny arachnids that make a living foraging for fungi within the rind.

Friday, 18 November 2016 20:58

No Democracy for Tardigrades

Are you worried about the presidential election? Here's one way of putting it all in perspective—look into the beauty and biodiversity of the microbial world.

Friday, 26 August 2016 17:28

Age of the Microzoo

Written by Scott Chimileski and Julie Wolf | In 3500 BCE, Egyptian rulers built a menagerie of exotic creatures within the ancient capital of Hierakonpolis. Archaeologists have found 112 animal skeletons at this site: the first zoo on Earth. But from this earliest exhibition of the natural world through today’s most famous animal displays, zoos have featured only macroscopic organisms. By not including microbes, they’ve left out most life on the planet.

Saturday, 06 August 2016 18:21

Hey Bear! Can I Sample Your Microbiota?

Have you ever been in a stressful situation and distracted yourself by deliberately thinking of something else? How about recalling recent research on the grizzly bear microbiome, while a wild mother grizzly bear with her cub is a few hundred feet away?

This story of lumbering apex predators and their microbes takes place in Glacier National Park in Montana. It’s the last in the series celebrating the microbiology of our National Parks! 

Can fossilized microbial communities in Capitol Reef National Park help us to imagine what the Southwest United States looked like 200 million years ago?

We can’t go back in time to see life on Earth two billion years ago. We can’t go to other planets to see life there either. But we can get a real sense of what ancient and alien life might be like, right here within the microbial communities of Yellowstone National Park. #NPS100

Thursday, 05 May 2016 18:21

Mystery of the Spring-Smelling Microbes

There is an incubator on the top floor of the Harvard Institutes of Medicine building where I work that continuously smells like dirt. And I am not complaining. It’s that refreshing aroma of garden soil, spring rain and deep forest. Everyone in the department can smell it, even halfway down the hall. But why would a medical school smell like the forest? What mysterious molecules float between the walls here and where are they coming from? Not to mention, why do they smell so good, compared with, let’s be honest, the pungent array of odors from the microbial world?