Dr. Anne L. McCartney graduated from University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ with a BSc (Hons) and PhD in Microbiology. Currently she serves as Head of Microbial Ecology and Health Research Group in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading, Reading, UK. She currently serves as member of the BNF Taskforce, Berkshire Autism Research Network and Autism Research Group at University of Reading. Her research interest is focused on human gut microbiota, with particular interests in pediatric microbial ecology and the interactions between the host and the gut bacteria (in health and disease). Her research group is actively investigating the microbial ecology of human infants, the gut microbiota associated with autistic spectrum disorders and dietary strategies to improve the quality of life of these individuals. She is also interested in other related areas such as, (a) the importance and impact of diet on the gastrointestinal ecosystem and the host in general, including the application of functional foods (probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics), (b) the impact of different therapies and medications on the gastrointestinal ecosystem and c) studies of the fecal microbiota of cats and dogs, with the aim of improving their gut health (especially in relation to inflammatory bowel disease and chronic diarrhea). She has authored and co-authored over 50 papers in this area of investigation.