Dana E. Hunt

Associate 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

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

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 135 Duke Marine Lab Rd, Beaufort, NC 28516
  • Office Phone: (252) 504-7542
  • Email Address: dana.hunt@duke.edu
  • Websites:

Education

  • Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2008

Courses Taught

  • BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study
  • BIOLOGY 309A: Oceans in Human and Environmental Health
  • BIOLOGY 309DA: Oceans in Human and Environmental Health
  • BIOLOGY 319A: Coastal Watershed Science and Policy
  • BIOLOGY 493A: Research Independent Study
  • BIOLOGY 841: Ecological Perspectives: Evolution to Ecosystems
  • ENVIRON 309A: Oceans in Human and Environmental Health
  • ENVIRON 309DA: Oceans in Human and Environmental Health
  • ENVIRON 321A: Coastal Watershed Science and Policy
  • ENVIRON 393A: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 729A: Oceans in Human and Environmental Health
  • ENVIRON 729DA: Oceans in Human and Environmental Health
  • ENVIRON 822A: Coastal Watershed and Policy
  • ENVIRON 841: Ecological Perspectives: Evolution to Ecosystems
  • ENVIRON 886A: Current Topics in Marine Conservation
  • EVANTH 741: Ecological Perspectives: Evolution to Ecosystems
  • GLHLTH 309A: Oceans in Human and Environmental Health
  • GLHLTH 309DA: Oceans in Human and Environmental Health
  • MARSCI 309A: Oceans in Human and Environmental Health
  • MARSCI 321A: Coastal Watershed Science and Policy
  • MARSCI 393A: Research Independent Study
  • UPE 701: Ecological Perspectives: Evolution to Ecosystems

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Gronniger, Jessica L., Zhao Wang, Genevieve R. Brandt, Christopher S. Ward, Despina Tsementzi, Han Mu, Junyao Gu, Zackary I. Johnson, Konstantinos T. Konstantinidis, and Dana E. Hunt. “Rapid changes in coastal ocean microbiomes uncoupled with shifts in environmental variables.” Environmental Microbiology 24, no. 9 (September 2022): 4167–77. https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.16086.
  • Xie, Ningdong, Mohan Bai, Lu Liu, Jiaqian Li, Yaodong He, Jackie L. Collier, Dana E. Hunt, Zackary I. Johnson, Nianzhi Jiao, and Guangyi Wang. “Patchy Blooms and Multifarious Ecotypes of Labyrinthulomycetes Protists and Their Implication in Vertical Carbon Export in the Pelagic Eastern Indian Ocean.” Microbiology Spectrum 10, no. 3 (June 2022): e0014422. https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.00144-22.
  • Fremin, Brayon J., Ami S. Bhatt, Nikos C. Kyrpides, and Nikos C. Global Phage Small Open Reading Frame (GP-SmORF) Consortium. “Thousands of small, novel genes predicted in global phage genomes.” Cell Reports 39, no. 12 (June 2022): 110984. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110984.
  • Bai, Mohan, Ningdong Xie, Yaodong He, Jiaqian Li, Jackie L. Collier, Dana E. Hunt, Zackary I. Johnson, Nianzhi Jiao, and Guangyi Wang. “Vertical community patterns of Labyrinthulomycetes protists reveal their potential importance in the oceanic biological pump.” Environmental Microbiology 24, no. 4 (April 2022): 1703–13. https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.15709.
  • Xie, Ningdong, Zhao Wang, Dana E. Hunt, Zackary I. Johnson, Yaodong He, and Guangyi Wang. “Niche Partitioning of Labyrinthulomycete Protists Across Sharp Coastal Gradients and Their Putative Relationships With Bacteria and Fungi.” Frontiers in Microbiology 13 (January 2022): 906864. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2022.906864.