Jeremy Rich, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone: 207.581.5302

CV: Link to Rich CV


Lab website: Link to Rich Lab Website

Darling Marine Center
193 Clarks Cove Road
Walpole, ME  04573


PhD, Oregon State University


I am a microbial ecologist who addresses fundamental questions about the structure and function of microbial communities in marine ecosystems. During my PhD at Oregon State University, I developed molecular methods to determine the diversity of denitrifying bacteria in terrestrial systems and relate their diversity to ecosystem functioning. As an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, I switched to marine systems and applied stable isotope techniques to measure rates of denitrification and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox). My current research – which is focused on novel experimental approaches in microbial ecology – leverages my training in both molecular and biogeochemical approaches. I am contributing to the transformation of microbial ecology from an observationally oriented field into one grounded in theory and empirical experimentation.

Research Interests

My research focuses on three nitrogen cycling processes: denitrification, anammox, and more recently, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). Each process is carried out by a distinct group of microbes, each with their own unique phylogeny, biochemistry and perhaps ecology. However, in anoxic environments, all of these processes compete for the same resource, nitrate, thereby influencing availability of biologically available nitrogen (N) in ecosystems in different ways. As N is a key limiting nutrient, these processes are linked to the carbon cycle, water quality and climate change. In addition, human activities have more than doubled inputs of biologically available N, setting up a global experiment in which microbial activities ultimately determine the fate of N. A fourth and more recent focus of my research is on the influence of organic matter on successional patterns in microbial communities as it relates directly to the N cycle and more broadly to bacterial communities in the water column.

I am most widely recognized for my work on the molecular diversity of denitrifying bacteria in soils and microbial controls on denitrification and anammox rates in marine systems. My current research continues along these themes in marine systems while expanding into new research areas. I am taking advantage of next generation sequencing to investigate underlying mechanisms controlling these nutrient cycling processes.


For a current list of publications please see Jeremy Rich Google Scholar Citations.