The student will work jointly between the labs of Drs. Frank Stewart (Biological Sciences) and Kostas Konstantinidis (Biological Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering) to characterize a globally important marine bacterial group (SAR11). A collaboration between these labs recently described how SAR11, the world’s most abundant organismal group, has adapted to the unique chemical and physical environment of anoxic oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). This work (Tsementzi et al. 2016, Nature) demonstrated that SAR11 has acquired the ability to respire nitrate, implicating SAR11 as a major but previously unrecognized contributor to pathways of ocean nutrient loss. Further work is required to understand the contribution of SAR11 to other chemical cycling pathways (e.g., carbon) in OMZs, as well as the gene flow processes that structure SAR11 diversity. In support of this work, a student on this project will be co-advised by Drs. Stewart and Konstantinidis and will be expected to develop an independent research project focused on OMZ SAR11 ecology or evolution. This work will likely involve diverse bioinformatic (genomic), biochemical, and microbiological (culturing) methods, as well as oceanographic field sampling in OMZs.