Dana E. Hunt

Dana E. Hunt

Assistant Professor of Microbial Ecology

My research focus is on understanding the ecology of microbes through examination of their genes and lifestyles. Bacteria are the most diverse organisms on earth and play a pivotal role in planetary cycling of nutrients and energy. Yet, we have a poor understanding of the factors that drive their diversity and dynamics in the environment. The lab's emphasis is on studying bacterial interactions with the environment at the appropriate temporal and spatial scale including the effect of temperature changes on bacterial populations and bacterial interactions with other organisms. Another area of active research is the response and adaptation of bacteria to emerging pollutants such as antibiotics and nanoparticles.

In The News


Ward, CS, Yung, C-M, Davis, KM, Blinebry, SK, Williams, TC, Johnson, ZI, and Hunt, DE. "Annual community patterns are driven by seasonal switching between closely related marine bacteria." The ISME journal 11, no. 6 (June 2017): 1412-1422.

Garcia, NS, Yung, C-M, Davis, KM, Rynearson, T, and Hunt, DE. "Draft Genome Sequences of Three Bacterial Isolates from Cultures of the Marine Diatom Thalassiosira rotula." Genome announcements 5, no. 18 (May 4, 2017).

McMurray, SE, Johnson, ZI, Hunt, DE, Pawlik, JR, and Finelli, CM. "Selective feeding by the giant barrel sponge enhances foraging efficiency." Limnology and Oceanography 61, no. 4 (July 2016): 1271-1286.

Yung, C-M, Ward, CS, Davis, KM, Johnson, ZI, and Hunt, DE. "Insensitivity of Diverse and Temporally Variable Particle-Associated Microbial Communities to Bulk Seawater Environmental Parameters." Applied and environmental microbiology 82, no. 11 (June 2016): 3431-3437.

Yung, C-M, Vereen, MK, Herbert, A, Davis, KM, Yang, J, Kantorowska, A, Ward, CS, Wernegreen, JJ, Johnson, ZI, and Hunt, DE. "Thermally adaptive tradeoffs in closely related marine bacterial strains." Environmental microbiology 17, no. 7 (July 2015): 2421-2429.

Recent Grants


BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study (BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study)
ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
EOS 393A: Research Independent Study (EOS 393A: Research Independent Study)
ENVIRON 393A: Research Independent Study (ENVIRON 393A: Research Independent Study)
ENVIRON 899: Master's Project (ENVIRON 899: Master's Project)

Contact Information

135 Duke Marine Lab Rd
Beaufort, NC 28516
135 Duke Marine Lab Rd
Beaufort, NC 28516


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2008)