resize_Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 12.54.45 PM_MOSAiCLeg4_LiannaNixon.jpg

MICROBIAL ECOLOGY & BIOGEOCHEMISTRY

Balmonte Lab

Our lab investigates questions at the intersection of microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, and environmental change in marine and other aquatic systems. We employ experimental and field-based approaches, and bioinformatic, molecular, and analytical chemistry tools to understand feedbacks between environmental parameters, microbial structure and their roles in carbon cycling—specifically the initial enzymatic step of organic matter degradation—and the quality and quantity of elemental pools. Our specific aims include the following: 1) quantify rates of microbial enzyme-catalyzed degradation of organic matter along physicochemical gradients (e.g., hydrostatic pressure, temperature, salinity, nutrients, etc.) from surface to deep ocean waters; 2) understand the extent to which biotic interactions, specifically those between viruses and their bacterial hosts, influence microbial metabolism and biogeochemical cycles in aquatic environments; and 3) determine the sensitivity of microbial structure and their carbon degrading activities in response to environmental perturbations.

We are actively recruiting and are dedicated to mentoring diverse undergraduate and graduate (MS or PhD) students! We have projects with fieldwork in the open ocean, in hadal depths, and in cold, polar environments. Plans are also underway to establish projects that investigate microbial and biogeochemical processes in nearby freshwater to coastal systems. Please reach out to JP Balmonte (jpb422@lehigh.edu) if you’re interested in joining!

Herrera Lab

Current Members

 
JP photo_edited.jpg
John Paul Balmonte
Principal Investigator

JP is a microbial ecologist and biogeochemist trained at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • gscholar
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
Silje Waaler-Pedersen.JPG
(co-supervised MS Student)

Silje is interested in studying temperature effects and seasonal variations of microbial enzymatic activities in sediments. Her main supervisor is Dr. Ronnie Glud (University of Southern Denmark). She is based in the HADAL Center at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark.

    Devangi Sathe.JPG
    Devangi Sathe
    (co-supervised PhD Student)

    Devangi is interested in studying the effects of hydrostatic pressure on marine microbial and viral communities. Her main supervisor is Dr. Ronnie Glud (U. of Southern Denmark) and is also co-supervised by Dr. Mathias Middelboe (U. of Copenhagen). She is based in the HADAL Center at the U. of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark.

     

    Fieldwork

    Research cruises

    2022 R/V Sonne, Bering Sea and Aleutian Trench

    2022 R/V Endeavor, North Atlantic

    2020 R/V Polarstern, MOSAiC International Arctic Drift Expedition, Arctic Ocean, Leg 4

    2016 R/V Atlantis, Guaymas Basin (observer on Alvin dive #4861)

    2016 R/V Sonne, South Pacific, North Pacific, Bering Sea

    2016 R/V Endeavor, North Atlantic

    2015 R/V Endeavor, North Atlantic

    2014 E/V Nautilus, Gulf of Mexico, Straits of Florida, Great Bahama Bank

    2013 R/V Kilo Moana, Station ALOHA, North Pacific

    2012 R/V Polarstern, Central Arctic Ocean

     

    Publications

    Brown, S. A., Balmonte, J. P., Hoarfrost, A., Ghobrial, S., and Arnosti, C. Depth-related patterns in microbial community responses to complex organic matter in the western North Atlantic Ocean, EGUsphere [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-682, In review (PDF: https://egusphere.copernicus.org/preprints/2022/egusphere-2022-682/)

    Traving, SJ, Balmonte, JP, Seale, D, Arnosti, C, Glud, RN, Hallam, SJ, Middelboe, M. (2022) On single cell enzyme assays in marine microbial ecology and biogeochemistry. Frontiers in Marine Sciences, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2022.846656 (PDF: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2022.846656/full)

    Giebel, HA, Arnosti, C, Badewien, TH, Bakenhus, I, Balmonte, JP, et al (2021). Microbial growth and organic matter cycling in the Pacific Ocean along a latitudinal transect between subarctic and subantarctic waters. Frontiers in Marine Sciences, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2021.764383 (PDF: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.764383/full)

    Jain, A, Balmonte, JP, Singh, R, Bhaskar, P, Krishnan, KP (2021). Spatially-resolved assembly, connectivity and structure of particle-attached and free-living bacterial communities in a high Arctic fjord. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 97(11):1-11 (PDF: https://academic.oup.com/femsec/article/97/11/fiab139/6385754)

    Balmonte, JP, Simon, M, Giebel HA, Arnosti, C. (2021) A Sea Change in Microbial Enzymes: Heterogeneous latitudinal and depth gradients in bulk water and particle-associated enzymatic activities from 30°S to 59°N in the Pacific Ocean. Limnology and Oceanography, 66:3489-3507 (PDF: https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/lno.11894)

    Speare, LA, Davies, S, Balmonte, JP, Baumann, JH, Castillo, K (2020). Patterns of environmental variability influence coral-associated bacterial and algal communities on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Molecular Ecology. 29:2334-2348 (PDF: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mec.15497)

    Balmonte, JP*, Hasler-Sheetal, H, Glud, RN, Andersen, TJ, Sejr, M, Middelboe, M, Teske, A, Arnosti, C. (2020) Sharp contrasts between freshwater and marine microbial enzymatic capabilities, community composition, and DOM pools in a NE Greenland fjord. Limnology and Oceanography 65:77-95 (PDF: https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/lno.11253)

    Hoarfrost, A, Balmonte, JP, Ghobrial, S, Ziervogel, K, Bane, J, Gawarkiewicz, G, Arnosti, C. (2019) Gulf Stream ring water intrusion on the Mid-Atlantic Bight continental shelf break affects microbially-driven carbon cycling. Frontiers in Marine Science doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00394 (PDF: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00394/full)

    Balmonte, JP, Buckley, A, Hoarfrost, A, Ghobrial, S, Teske, A, Arnosti, C. (2019) Community structural differences shape microbial responses to high molecular weight organic matter. Environmental Microbiology 21(2): 557-571 (PDF: https://sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1462-2920.14485)

    Balmonte, JP, Teske, A, Arnosti, C. (2018) Structure and function of high Arctic pelagic, particle-associated, and benthic bacterial communities. Environmental Microbiology 20(8): 2941-2954 (PDF: https://sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1462-2920.14304)

    Balmonte, JP, Arnosti, C, Underwood, S, McKee, BA, Teske, A. (2016) Riverine bacterial communities reveal environmental disturbance signatures within the Betaproteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. Frontiers in Microbiology 7:1441. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01441 (PDF: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2016.01441/full)

    Neumann, AM, Balmonte, JP, Berger, M, Ansgar-Giebel H, Voget, S et al (2015). Different Utilization of alginate and other algal polysaccharides by marine Alteromonas macleodii ecotypes. Environmental Microbiology 17(10):3857-3868 (PDF: https://sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1462-2920.12862)

    Boetius, A, Albrecht, S, Bakker, K, Bienhold, C, Felden, J et al (2013). Export of algal biomass from the melting Arctic sea ice. Science 339(6126): 1430-1432 (PDF: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.1231346)