Jennifer Brum, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University

Jennifer Brum is an assistant professor in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at Louisiana State University. She is an oceanographer whose lab focuses on studying the ecology and roles of marine viruses, the most numerous biological entities in the ocean. To accomplish this, the lab uses multi-omic sequencing and microscopy, combined with field sampling, to investigate what types of viruses exist in the oceans and how their interactions with bacteria affect microbial ecology and biogeochemical cycling. The lab’s main areas of study are currently focused on the roles of viruses in marine oxygen minimum zones and hydrothermal vent systems. This work seeks to elucidate the effects of viral-encoded genes on bacterial metabolism, the roles of viruses infecting particle-associated bacteria, and the prevalence of lysogeny in these environments. Brum graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marine science from Hawai’i Pacific University, with a minor in chemistry. She then received her master’s degree in oceanography from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in the lab of David Karl, conducting research on marine viruses and dissolved DNA in the ocean through the Hawai’i Ocean Time-series program. Following this, she received a doctorate in oceanography from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in the lab of Grieg Steward. Her research investigated the ecology of viruses in Mono Lake and the development of methods to further the understanding of marine viral diversity. After graduate school, Brum then conducted postdoctoral research in Matthew Sullivan’s lab at the University of Arizona and The Ohio State University, studying viruses in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica through an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Polar Regions Research, investigating the application of metaproteomics for marine viral communities, and studying the global-scale distribution of marine viral populations through the Tara Oceans expedition.

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