Dana E. Hunt

Dana E. Hunt

Associate 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, Pan, J-F, Colman, BP, Wang, Z, Gwin, CA, Williams, TC, Ardis, A, Gunsch, CK, and Hunt, DE. "Conserved Microbial Toxicity Responses for Acute and Chronic Silver Nanoparticle Treatments in Wetland Mesocosms." Environmental Science & Technology 53, no. 6 (March 2019): 3268-3276.
Duan, Y, Xie, N, Song, Z, Ward, CS, Yung, C-M, Hunt, DE, Johnson, ZI, and Wang, G. "A High-Resolution Time Series Reveals Distinct Seasonal Patterns of Planktonic Fungi at a Temperate Coastal Ocean Site (Beaufort, North Carolina, USA)." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 84, no. 21 (November 2018).
Zhang, T, Pan, J-F, Hunt, DE, Chen, M, and Wang, B. "Organic matter modifies biochemical but not most behavioral responses of the clam Ruditapes philippinarum to nanosilver exposure." Marine Environmental Research 133 (February 2018): 105-113.
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).

Recent Grants


ENERGY 396-1: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects (ENERGY 396-1: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects)
ENVIRON 383LA: Marine Molecular Microbiology (ENVIRON 383LA: Marine Molecular Microbiology)
BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study (BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study)
ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
ENVIRON 825LA: Marine Molecular Microbiology (ENVIRON 825LA: Marine Molecular Microbiology)

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)