Dana E Hunt

Dana E. Hunt

Assistant 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.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor of Microbial Ecology
  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology

Contact Information

  • Office Phone: (252) 504-7542
  • Email Address: dana.hunt@duke.edu
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2008


marine science
environmental genomics
environmental toxicology
global change ecology

Courses Taught

  • BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study
  • BIOLOGY 319A: Coastal Watershed Science and Policy
  • BIOLOGY 380LA: Marine Molecular Microbiology
  • BIOLOGY 493A: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 321A: Coastal Watershed Science and Policy
  • ENVIRON 383LA: Marine Molecular Microbiology
  • ENVIRON 393A: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 822A: Coastal Watershed and Policy
  • ENVIRON 825LA: Marine Molecular Microbiology
  • ENVIRON 849A: Doctoral Student Seminar and Professional Development
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project
  • EOS 393A: Research Independent Study

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Yung, CM; Vereen, MK; Herbert, A; Davis, KM; Yang, J; Kantorowska, A; Ward, CS; Wernegreen, JJ; Johnson, ZI; Hunt, DE, Thermally adaptive tradeoffs in closely related marine bacterial strains., Environmental Microbiology, vol 17 no. 7 (2015), pp. 2421-2429 [abs].
  • Hunt, DE; Ward, CS, A network-based approach to disturbance transmission through microbial interactions., Frontiers in Microbiology, vol 6 (2015) [abs].
  • Chae, SR; Hunt, DE; Ikuma, K; Yang, S; Cho, J; Gunsch, CK; Liu, J; Wiesner, MR, Aging of fullerene Cā‚†ā‚€ nanoparticle suspensions in the presence of microbes., Water Research, vol 65 (2014), pp. 282-289 [abs].
  • Kirchberger, PC; Turnsek, M; Hunt, DE; Haley, BJ; Colwell, RR; Polz, MF; Tarr, CL; Boucher, Y, Vibrio metoecus sp. nov., a close relative of Vibrio cholerae isolated from coastal brackish ponds and clinical specimens., International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, vol 64 no. Pt 9 (2014), pp. 3208-3214 [abs].
  • Colman, BP; Espinasse, B; Richardson, CJ; Matson, CW; Lowry, GV; Hunt, DE; Wiesner, MR; Bernhardt, ES, Emerging contaminant or an old toxin in disguise? Silver nanoparticle impacts on ecosystems., Environmental Science & Technology, vol 48 no. 9 (2014), pp. 5229-5236 [abs].

Additional Information

Research Site: http://oceanography.ml.duke.edu/hunt