- Diploma (Food Technology): 1999 University of Hohenheim, Germany
- Doctoral degree (Microbiology): 2003 University of Hohenheim, Germany
Dr. Walter’s expertise lies at the interface of evolutionary ecology of the gut microbiome and human nutrition. More specifically, his research focuses on the evolutionary and ecological processes that have shaped the host-microbiome interrelationship and the translation of basic microbiome science into therapeutic and nutritional strategies. Dr. Walter and his collaborators have pioneered the application of ecological theory to elucidate factors (host genetics, colonization history, dispersal, diet) that shape gut microbiomes and to achieve targeted and more systematic modulations of microbiomes via diet and live microbes. His team has further used a combination of phylogenomics and animal experiments to elucidate the evolution and ecology of intestinal lactobacilli. Dr. Walter has published >115 peer-reviewed publications, and his work has been featured on several journal covers (Cell Reports, Cell Host and Microbe, Applied and Environmental Microbiology), in hundreds of news outlets worldwide, and on six occasions in the research highlights of Nature and Nature Reviews Journals. He has led several provocative science commentaries with other opinion leaders that inter alia challenged current paradigms in the microbiome field that required critical assessment, such as the exaggeration of causal claims (Cell, 2020, 180:221-232), the definition of prebiotics (Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015, 12:303-10), the use of ‘human microbiota-associated mice’ (Cell Host and Microbe 2016, 19:575-578), and the ‘prenatal microbiome’ (Microbiome 2017, 5(1):48).
- Jan 2020-present: Professor at the School of Microbiology, Department of Medicine, and APC Microbiome Ireland. University College Cork – National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland.
- July 2019-Dec. 2019: Professor and Campus Alberta Innovates Program Chair at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
- March 2014-June 2019: Associate Professor and Campus Alberta Innovates Program Chair at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
- Aug. 2012-Feb. 2014: Associate Professor at the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA.
- Sept. 2006-July 2012: Assistant Professor at the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA.
- Aug. 2004-Sept. 2006: Research Fellow at University of Otago, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Dunedin, New Zealand in the laboratory of Prof. Gerald W. Tannock.
- May 2004-July 2004: Postdoctoral Fellow at University of North Carolina, Department of Medicine, Chapel Hill, USA in the laboratory of Prof. R. Balfour Sartor.
- March 2003-April 2004: Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Otago, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Dunedin, New Zealand in the laboratory of Prof. Gerald W. Tannock.