Dr. Burton’s appreciation of the microbial ecology of humans as a student was sparked by Professors Gerald Tannock and John Tagg at University of Otago in New Zealand.

In the early 2000s, he was fortunate enough to study the vaginal microbiota with then-emerging non-culture-based techniques. These showed that difficult-to-culture organisms, such as Lactobacillus iners, were frequent inhabitants of woman, but were not often detected by bacteriological culture-based methods.

After spending time in Industry he returned to the Lawson Health Research Institute and the Canadian Centre for Human Microbiome and Probiotics to continue working on the exciting area of translating microbial ecological research into real-world applications.




  • Assistant Professor, Surgery (Urology) and Microbiology & Immunology.
  • Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute.
  • Deputy Director, Canadian Centre for Human Microbiome and Probiotics

Administrative Support

Lesley Carmichael x65755


Research Group

Research Interest Area 

Genitourinary system
Women's health

Research Overview

We conduct research on the role of microbes in various human conditions. Our primary focus is the microbiome which influences urological conditions. The microbiome at distal sites is now the most intriguing, as it is thought to have an influence on systemic health well beyond the primary mucosal sites they occupy.



Microbiome, Urology, Probiotics


Our primary collaborators are with clinicians within the Division of Urology and Scientists within the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and wider Western University.

We also have collaborations with the J. Craig Venter Institute (US), University of Otago (NZ), University of British Columbia and Sichuan University (China).