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Associate Professor
Year Started at JMU: 2014
Contact Info

Research Description

In my research, I examine how marine microorganisms interact with each other and their environment. As part of this research, I focus on a critical group of marine microbes: phytoplankton. Marine phytoplankton produce about half of the oxygen on earth and form the base of the marine food web. However, many species of phytoplankton are also “harmful” to the environment. My laboratory seeks to understand the ecological niche of these harmful phytoplankton species.

Office Hours
  • PhD in Biological Oceanography, 2011, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • BS in Biology/Marine Biology/Cellular & Molecular Biology, 2005, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Select Publications
  • Louie L. Wurch, Harriet Alexander, Kyle Frishkorn, Christopher J. Gobler, and Sonya T. Dyhrman (2019) Transcriptional shifts highlight the role of nutrients in harmful brown tide dynamics. Frontiers in Microbiology. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.00136
  • Louie L. Wurch, Richard Giannone, Bernard Belisle, Carolyn Swift, Sagar Utturkar, Robert Hettich, Anna-Louise Reysenbach, and Mircea Podar (2016) Genomics-informed isolation and characterization of a symbiotic nanoarchaeota system from a terrestrial geothermal environment. Nature communications. doi:10.1038/ncomms12115
  • Louie L. Wurch, Christopher J. Gobler, and Sonya T. Dyhrman (2014) Expression of a xanthine permease and phosphate transporter in cultures and field populations of the harmful alga Aureococcus anophagefferens: tracking nutritional deficiency during brown tides. Environmental Microbiology. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12374.

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