Maureen L. Coleman

Assistant Professor
Research Summary
Our group studies microbial population diversity, ecology, and evolution. We focus primarily on freshwater and marine systems, and we use a combination of laboratory experiments, field observations, and computational analyses. Our current projects include 1) the role of marine viruses in biogeochemical processes; 2) the physiology and genetics of photoheterotrophy; and 3) phylogenetic and metabolic diversity of microbes in the Laurentian Great Lakes.
Cyanobacteria, Microbial Ecology, Genomics, Environmental, Phototrophy, Bacteriophages
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, Ph.D. Environmental Microbiology 2008
  • MIT/Caltech, Pasadena, CA, postdoc Geobiology 2011
Biosciences Graduate Program Association
Awards & Honors
  • 2014 - Sloan Research Fellow in Ocean Sciences
  1. Podowski JC, Paver SF, Newton RJ, Coleman ML. Genome Streamlining, Proteorhodopsin, and Organic Nitrogen Metabolism in Freshwater Nitrifiers. mBio. 2022 06 28; 13(3):e0237921. View in: PubMed

  2. Coleman M. Diagnosing nutritional stress in the oceans. Science. 2021 04 16; 372(6539):239-240. View in: PubMed

  3. Paver SF, Newton RJ, Coleman ML. Microbial communities of the Laurentian Great Lakes reflect connectivity and local biogeochemistry. Environ Microbiol. 2020 01; 22(1):433-446. View in: PubMed

  4. Zimmerman AE, Howard-Varona C, Needham DM, John SG, Worden AZ, Sullivan MB, Waldbauer JR, Coleman ML. Metabolic and biogeochemical consequences of viral infection in aquatic ecosystems. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2020 01; 18(1):21-34. View in: PubMed

  5. Waldbauer JR, Coleman ML, Rizzo AI, Campbell KL, Lotus J, Zhang L. Nitrogen sourcing during viral infection of marine cyanobacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 07 30; 116(31):15590-15595. View in: PubMed

  6. Paver SF, Muratore D, Newton RJ, Coleman ML. Reevaluating the Salty Divide: Phylogenetic Specificity of Transitions between Marine and Freshwater Systems. mSystems. 2018 Nov-Dec; 3(6). View in: PubMed

  7. Hentchel KL, Reyes Ruiz LM, Curtis PD, Fiebig A, Coleman ML, Crosson S. Genome-scale fitness profile of Caulobacter crescentus grown in natural freshwater. ISME J. 2019 02; 13(2):523-536. View in: PubMed

  8. Ma X, Coleman ML, Waldbauer JR. Distinct molecular signatures in dissolved organic matter produced by viral lysis of marine cyanobacteria. Environ Microbiol. 2018 08; 20(8):3001-3011. View in: PubMed

  9. Bachy C, Charlesworth CJ, Chan AM, Finke JF, Wong CH, Wei CL, Sudek S, Coleman ML, Suttle CA, Worden AZ. Transcriptional responses of the marine green alga Micromonas pusilla and an infecting prasinovirus under different phosphate conditions. Environ Microbiol. 2018 08; 20(8):2898-2912. View in: PubMed

  10. Murata K, Zhang Q, Gerardo Galaz-Montoya J, Fu C, Coleman ML, Osburne MS, Schmid MF, Sullivan MB, Chisholm SW, Chiu W. Visualizing Adsorption of Cyanophage P-SSP7 onto Marine Prochlorococcus. Sci Rep. 2017 03 10; 7:44176. View in: PubMed

  11. Roux S, Solonenko NE, Dang VT, Poulos BT, Schwenck SM, Goldsmith DB, Coleman ML, Breitbart M, Sullivan MB. Towards quantitative viromics for both double-stranded and single-stranded DNA viruses. PeerJ. 2016; 4:e2777. View in: PubMed

  12. Gibbons SM, Scholz M, Hutchison AL, Dinner AR, Gilbert JA, Coleman ML. Disturbance Regimes Predictably Alter Diversity in an Ecologically Complex Bacterial System. mBio. 2016 12 20; 7(6). View in: PubMed

  13. Howe A, Ringus DL, Williams RJ, Choo ZN, Greenwald SM, Owens SM, Coleman ML, Meyer F, Chang EB. Divergent responses of viral and bacterial communities in the gut microbiome to dietary disturbances in mice. ISME J. 2016 May; 10(5):1217-27. View in: PubMed

  14. Weitz JS, Stock CA, Wilhelm SW, Bourouiba L, Coleman ML, Buchan A, Follows MJ, Fuhrman JA, Jover LF, Lennon JT, Middelboe M, Sonderegger DL, Suttle CA, Taylor BP, Frede Thingstad T, Wilson WH, Eric Wommack K. A multitrophic model to quantify the effects of marine viruses on microbial food webs and ecosystem processes. ISME J. 2015 Jun; 9(6):1352-64. View in: PubMed

  15. Gibbons SM, Jones E, Bearquiver A, Blackwolf F, Roundstone W, Scott N, Hooker J, Madsen R, Coleman ML, Gilbert JA. Human and environmental impacts on river sediment microbial communities. PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e97435. View in: PubMed

  16. Ricci JN, Coleman ML, Welander PV, Sessions AL, Summons RE, Spear JR, Newman DK. Diverse capacity for 2-methylhopanoid production correlates with a specific ecological niche. ISME J. 2014 Mar; 8(3):675-684. View in: PubMed

  17. Waldbauer JR, Rodrigue S, Coleman ML, Chisholm SW. Transcriptome and proteome dynamics of a light-dark synchronized bacterial cell cycle. PLoS One. 2012; 7(8):e43432. View in: PubMed

  18. Sullivan MB, Coleman ML, Quinlivan V, Rosenkrantz JE, Defrancesco AS, Tan G, Fu R, Lee JA, Waterbury JB, Bielawski JP, Chisholm SW. Portal protein diversity and phage ecology. Environ Microbiol. 2008 Oct; 10(10):2810-23. View in: PubMed

  19. Lindell D, Jaffe JD, Coleman ML, Futschik ME, Axmann IM, Rector T, Kettler G, Sullivan MB, Steen R, Hess WR, Church GM, Chisholm SW. Genome-wide expression dynamics of a marine virus and host reveal features of co-evolution. Nature. 2007 Sep 06; 449(7158):83-6. View in: PubMed

  20. Coleman ML, Sullivan MB, Martiny AC, Steglich C, Barry K, Delong EF, Chisholm SW. Genomic islands and the ecology and evolution of Prochlorococcus. Science. 2006 Mar 24; 311(5768):1768-70. View in: PubMed

  21. Sullivan MB, Coleman ML, Weigele P, Rohwer F, Chisholm SW. Three Prochlorococcus cyanophage genomes: signature features and ecological interpretations. PLoS Biol. 2005 May; 3(5):e144. View in: PubMed