Claire Elbon graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she received a B.S. in honors microbiology. Despite being in a landlocked state, much of her undergraduate career was spent working with marine aquatic systems. She was able to participate in research characterizing the microbiomes of freshwater and marine aquaria in the Tennessee Aquarium. She also was able to participate in an oceanography field research class in the North Atlantic. These experiences led to her passion for studying how the Earth’s smallest organisms have massive implications for oceans and climate. Her research interests broadly include microbial organisms classified as chemolithotrophs, who have “alternative” pathways of respiration; biogeochemistry and microbial contributions to the cycling of sulfur, nitrogen, and oxygen; oceanography; and the microbial life and biogeochemistry of ancient oceans.