Associate Professor

Office: 541-737-4500

Burt Hall

Burt Hall 214

2651 SW Orchard Avenue

2651 SW Orchard Avenue
Corvallis, OR 97331

Profile Field Tabs

Brief Research Interests: 

Microbe-metazoan Interactions, deep-sea and polar ecology, food web dynamics, deep-sea habitats, annelid ecology



Microbe-metazoan Interactions. Deep-Sea and Polar Oceanography.  Food-Web Dynamics. Deep-Sea Reducing Habitats.  Ecosystem Function and Services of Marine Systems.

Research Interests

I am interested in how cross-domain interactions impact ecosystem function in marine communities. Through using a variety of isotopic and 'omics analyses, I identify and quantify trophic linkages between metazoans and bacteria and archaea in soft sediment systems and how this impacts diverse biogeochemical processes.  

Current Research

My current research aims to explore how microbial community dynamics, biogeography, and metazoan trophic ecology fit into our overall understanding of the flow of energy through marine systems.  Much of this work is based at methane seep habitats, linking these areas of inquiry to greenhouse gas cycling and societal impacts.

Deep-sea methane seeps:  Methane seeps provide a unique system in which microbial populations specifically harness the release of methane and sulfide to create biomass epicenters on the seafloor.  One aspect of this research is to better understand the diversity of microbes and taxa that are influenced by seepage through expanding the breadth of seeps sampled. Through quantifying the spatial impact of these habitats, we are increasingly constraining how oceanographic settings impact the biological and biogeochemical diversity of ocean margin systems.  

Antarctic Ecosystems. Polar habitats provide insight into the overall function of habitats while impacting the current and future global climate.  Two key questions drive my research in the poles: (1) how do animal communities survive the long polar winter; (2) how do antarctic microbial communities, especially those involved in methane cycling, differ in taxonomy and process from those elsewhere on the globe.  Through years of research, we have been constraining the role of Microbial production for animal communities in the High Antarctic using biomarker techniques that are increasingly coupled with molecular approaches that we have refined in deep-sea habitats.  We have also discovered an active methane seep at 78 degrees South and have been using this incredible habitat to elucidate the Antarctic methane cycle in a way never possible before.


2011 - Post Doctoral Fellow - Oregon State University
2010 - Ph.D. in Oceanography - Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
2005 - M.S. in Marine Science - Moss Landing Marine Labs, CSU- Stanislaus
2001 - B.S. in Marine Biology (minor: Mathematics) - Hawaii Pacific University


Please email me for pdfs of any of these publications (

  1. German CR, Baumberger T, Lilley MD, Lupton JE, Noble AE, Saito M, Thurber AR, Blackman DK. In Press.  Hydrothermal Exploration of the southern Chile Rise: Sediment-hosted venting at the Chile Triple Junction. G3
  2. Buser-Young J*, Lapham L, Thurber AR, Williams KH, Colwell F. 2021.  Hidden processes during seasonal isolation of a high-altitude watershed. Frontiers in Earth Science.
  3. Howell KL, Hilário A, Allcock AL, Bailey D, Baker M, Clark MR, Colaço A, Copley J, Cordes E, Danovaro R, Dissanayake A, Escobar E, Esquete P, Gallagher A, Gates AR, Gaudron SM, German CR, Gjerde K, Higgs ND, Le Bris N, Levin LA, Manea E, McClain C, Menot L, Mestre NC, Metaxas A, Milligan R, Muthumbi AWN, Narayanaswamy BE, Ramalho SP, Ramirez-Llodra E, Robson L, Rogers AD, Sellanes J, Sigwart J, Sink K, Snelgrove PRV, Stefanoudis PV, Sumida PY, Taylor ML, Thurber AR, Vieira R, Watanabe HK, Woodall LC, Xavier JR. 2021. A blueprint for an inclusive, global deep-sea Ocean Decade field programme. Frontiers in Marine Science.
  4. Howell KL, Hilário A, Allcock AL, Bailey D, Baker M, Clark MR, Colaço A, Copley J, Cordes E, Danovaro R, Dissanayake A, Escobar E, Esquete P, Gallagher A, Gates AR, Gaudron SM, German CR, Gjerde K, Higgs ND, Le Bris N, Levin LA, Manea E, McClain C, Menot L, Mestre NC, Metaxas A, Milligan R, Muthumbi AWN, Narayanaswamy BE, Ramalho SP, Ramirez-Llodra E, Robson L, Rogers AD, Sellanes J, Sigwart J, Sink K, Snelgrove PRV, Stefanoudis PV, Sumida PY, Taylor ML, Thurber AR, Vieira R, Watanabe HK, Woodall LC, Xavier JR.  2021. A Decade to Study Deep-Sea Life. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 5: 265-267.
  5. Messyasz A*, Rosales SM, Mueller RS, Sawyer T, Correa AMS, Thurber AR, Vega Thurber R. 2020. Mo’orea Pocilloporidae Coral Virus (MPCV): A new Megavirus associated with scleractinian corals undergoing bleaching. Frontiers in Marine Science.
  6. Ingels J, Aronson RB, Smith CR, Baco-Taylor A, Bik HM, Blake JA, Brandt A, Cape M, Demaster D, Dolan E, Domack E, Fire S, Geisz H, Gigliotti M, Griffiths H, Halanych KM, Havermans C, Huettmann F, Ishman S, Kranz S, Leventer A, Mahon AR, Mcclintock J, Mccormick ML, Mitchell BG, Murray A, Peck L, Rogers A, Shoplock B, Smith KE, Steffel B, Stukel M, Sweetman A, Taylor M, Thurber AR, Truffer M, van de Putte A, Vanreusel A, Zamora-Duran A. 2020. Antarctic Ecosystem Responses following Ice Shelf Collapse and Iceberg Calving: Science Review and Future Research. WIREs Climate Change.
  7. Thurber AR, Seabrook S*, Welsch R*. 2020. Riddles in the Cold: Antarctic Endemism and Microbial Succession impact methane cycling in the Southern Ocean. Proceedings of the Royal Society - Biology. 287: 20201134.
  8. Darr K*, East JL, Seabrook S*, Dundas SJ, Thurber AR. 2020. The Deep Sea and Me: Using a Science Center Exhibit to Promote Lasting Public Literacy and Elucidate Public Perception of the Deep Sea. Frontiers of Marine Science.
  9. Seabrook S*, De Leo F, Thurber AR. 2019. Exporting methane seep production to margins and people: The use of a methane seep by Tanner Crabs (Chionoecetes tanneri). Frontiers of Marine Science. 10.3389/fmars.2019.00043.
  10. Seabrook S*, De Leo F, Baumberger T, Raineault N, Thurber AR. 2018. Heterogeneity of methane seep biomes in the Northeast Pacific. Deep-Sea Research II,
  11. Graw MF*, D’Angelo G ͌, Borchers M ͌, Thurber AR, Johnson JE, Zhang C, Liu H, Colwell FS. 2018. Energy gradients structure microbial communities across sediment horizons in deep marine sediments. Frontiers in Marine Science.
  12. Sweetman AK, Thurber AR, Smith CR, Levin LA, Mora C, Wei C-L, Gooday AJ, Jones DOB, Rex M, Yasuhara M, Ingels J, Ruhl HA, Frieder CA, Danovaro R, Würzberg L, Baco A, Grupe BM, Pasulka A, Meyer KS, Dunlop KM, Henry L-A, Roberts JM. 2017. Major impacts of climate change on deep-sea benthic ecosystems. Elementa 5:
  13. Galloway A, Shanks A, Groth S, Marion S, Thurber AR. 2017. Massive crab recruitment events to the shallow subtidal zone. Ecology 98: 1468-1470.
  14. Hansman R, Thurber AR, Levin LA, Aluwihare LI. 2017. Methane fates in the benthos and water column at cold seep sites along the continental margin of Central and North America. Deep-Sea Research I. 120:122-131
  15. Vega Thurber R, Payet J, Thurber AR, Correa A. 2017. Virus-host interactions and their roles in coral reef health and disease. Nature Reviews in Microbiology. 15: 205-216.
  16. Smith AR*, Fisk MR, Thurber AR, Flores GE, Mason OU, Popa R, Colwell FS. 2017. Microbial communities in the Juan de Fuca ridge’s oceanic crustal aquifer are governed by mineralogy. Geomicrobiology. 34:147-156. DOI:10.1080/01490451.2016.1155001
  17. Levin LA, Baco AR, Bowden D, Colaço, Cordes E, Cunha MR, Demopoulus A, Gobin J, Grupe B, Le J, Metaxas A, Netburn A, Rouse GW, Thurber AR, Tunnicliffe V, Van Dover C, Vanreusel A, Watling L. 2016. Hydrothermal vents and methane seeps: Rethinking the sphere of influence. Frontiers in Marine Science
  18. Leduc D, Rowden AA, Clark MR, Bowden DA, Thurber AR. 2016. Limited among-habitat differences in the deep-sea macro-infaunal communities off New Zealand: implications for their vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbance. Marine Ecology. 37:845-866. 10.1111/maec.12363
  19. Verba C, Thurber AR, Alleau Y, Koley D, Colwell F, Torres M. 2016. Mineral changes in cement-sandstone matrices induced by biocementation. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 49:312-322
  20. Harris D  ͌, Ummadi J  ͌, Thurber AR, Alleau Y, Verba C, Colwell F, Torres M, Koley D. 2016. Real-time monitoring of calcification process by Sporosarcina pasteurii biofilm. Analyst 141:2887-2895.
  21. Correa A, Ainsworth T, Rosales S*, Thurber AR, Butler CR, Vega Thurber RV. 2016. Cryptic viral outbreak in Corals driven by an in situ bleaching event: atypical herpes like viruses and a new Megavirus infecting Symbiodinium. Frontiers in Microbiology. 7:127 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00127
  22. Levin LA, Mendoza GF, Grupe B, Gonzalez JP, Jellison B, Rouse G, Thurber AR, Waren A. 2015. Biodiversity on the Rocks: Macrofauna inhabiting authigenic carbonate at Costa Rica methane seeps. PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131080
  23. Bryson S*, Thurber AR, Correa A, Orphan VJ, Vega Thurber R. 2015. A novel sister clade to the enterobacteria microviruses (family Microviridae) identified in methane seep sediments. Environmental Microbiology 17:3708-3721. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12758.
  24. Thurber AR. 2015. Diet-dependent incorporation of biomarkers: Implications for food-web studies using stable isotope and fatty acid analyses with special application to chemosynthetic environments. Marine Ecology 36:1-17.
  25. Marlow J, Steele J, Ziebis W, Thurber AR, Levin LA, Orphan VJ. 2014. Carbonate hosted methanotrophy: An unrecognized methane sink in the deep sea. Nature Communications 5: 5094.
  26. Thurber AR, Sweetman AK, Narayanaswamy BE, Jones DOB, Ingels J, Hansman RL. 2014. Ecosystem function and services provided by the deep sea. Biogeosciences 10:10193-18240
  27. Zepata-Hernández G, Sellanes J, Thurber AR, Levin LA. 2014. Trophic structure of the bathyal benthos at an area with evidence of methane seep activity off southern Chile (~45oS), Journal of the Marine Biological Associate of the United Kingdom, 94:659-669.
  28. Zepata-Hernández G, Sellanes J, Thurber AR, Chazalon F, Levin LA, Linke P. 2014. New insights on the trophic ecology of bathyal communities from the methane seep area off Concepción, Chile (~36º S). Marine Ecology DOI: 10.1111/maec.12051.
  29. Thurber AR, Levin LA, Rowden AA, Kröger K, Linke P, Sommer S. 2013. Microbes, Macrofauna, and Methane: The importance of aerobic methanotrophy in fueling a high-biomass, methane seep infaunal community. Limnology and Oceanography 5 8:1640-1656.
  30. Mora C, Rollo A, Amaro T, Baco AR, Chen Q, Collier M, Danovaro R, Gooday AJ, Grupe B, Halloran PR, Ingels J, Jones DOB, Levin LA, Nakano H, Norling K, Ramirez-Llodra E, Ruhl HA, Smith CR, Sweetman AK, Thurber AR, Tjiputra JF, Usseglio P, Watling L, Wei C-L, Wu T, Yasuhara M. 2013. Projected climate change in the ocean and its impact upon marine biota and people. PLoS Biology 11(10): e1001682.
  31. Bowden DA, Rowden AA, Thurber AR, Baco A, Levin LA, Smith CR. 2013. Cold seep epifaunal communities on the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand: composition, succession, and vulnerability to human activities. PLoS ONE 8(10): e76869.
  32. Dayton PK, Kim S, Jarrell SC, Oliver JS, Hammerstrom K, Fisher JL, O’Connor K, Barber JS, Robilliard G, Barry J, Thurber AR, Conlan K. 2013. Recruitment, Growth and Mortality of an Antarctic Hexactinellid Sponge, Anoxycalyx joubini. PLoS ONE. 8(2): e56939. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056939
  33. Levin LA, Ziebis W, Mendoza G, Bertics VJ, Washington T, Gonzalez J, Thurber AR, Ebbe B, Lee RW. 2013. Ecological Release and Niche Partitioning Under Stress: Lessons from Dorvilleid Polychaetes in Sulfidic Sediments at Methane Seeps. Deep-Sea Research II. 92:217-233.
  34. Blackman DK, Appelgate B, German CR, Thurber AR, Henig AS. 2012. Axial Morphology along the Southern Chile Rise. Marine Geology 315-318: 58-63.
  35. Vega Thurber R, Burkepile DE, Shantz AA, Welsh R, Correa AMS, Pritchard C, Thurber AR, Rosales S. 2012. Macroalgae decrease growth and alter bacterial community structure of the scleractinian coral, Porites astreoides. PLoS ONE 7: e44246. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044246
  36. Thurber AR, Levin LA, Orphan VJ, Marlow J. 2012. Archaea in the diet of Metazoans: Implications for Chemosynthetic Ecosystems. ISME J 6:1602-1612.
  37. Bernardino AF, Levin LA, Thurber AR, Smith CR. 2012. Comparative composition, diversity and trophic ecology of sediment macrofauna at vents, seeps and organic falls. PLoS ONE 7: e33515. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033515
  38. Thurber AR, Jones WJ, Schnabel K. 2011. Dancing for food in the deep sea: Bacterial farming by a new species of Yeti crab. PLoS ONE. 6(11):e26243. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0026243
  39. Kim S, Hammerstom KK, Conlan KE, Thurber AR. 2010. Polar ecosystem dynamics: Recovery of communities from organic enrichment in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 50:1031-1040.
  40. Conlan KE, Kim SL, Thurber AR, Hendrycks E. 2010. Benthic changes at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, following local sewage treatment and regional iceberg-mediated productivity decline. Marine Pollution Bulletin 60: 419- 432.
  41. Thurber AR, Kröger K, Neira C, Wiklund H, Levin LA. 2010. Stable isotope signatures and methane use by New Zealand cold seep benthos. Marine Geology 272:260-269.
  42. Levin LA, Mendoza G, Gonzalez J, McMillan P, Thurber AR. 2010. Diversity of bathyal macrobenthos on the northeastern Pacific margin: the influence of methane seeps and oxygen minimum zones. Marine Ecology 34: 94-110.
  43. Glover AG, Smith CR, Minks SL, Sumida PY, Thurber A. 2008. Macrofaunal abundance and composition on the West Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf: Evidence for a sediment ‘food bank’and similarities to deep-sea habitats. Deep-Sea Research II 55:2491-2501.
  44. Thurber AR. 2007. Diets of Antarctic sponges: links between the pelagic microbial loop and benthic metazoan food web. Marine Ecology Progress Series 351:77-89.
  45. Kim SL, Thurber A, Hammerstrom K, Conlan K. 2007. Seastar response to organic enrichment in an oligotrophic polar habitat. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 346:66-75.
  46. Kim SL and Thurber A. 2007. Comparison of seastar (Asteroidea) fauna across island groups of the Scotia Arc. Polar Biology 30:415-425.
  47. Detrich HW, Jones CD, Kim S, North AW, Thurber A, Vacchi M. 2005. Nesting behavior of the icefish Chaenocephalus aceratus at Bouvetoya Island, Southern Ocean. Polar Biology 28:828-832.