Director and Professor
School of Oceanography
University of Washington
Presentation Title: “Hidden Worlds: Biodiversity of Marine Microbes”
E. Virginia Armbrust is the director and a professor of the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington. She earned her BA from Stanford University and her PhD in biological oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Armbrust’s research focuses on marine phytoplankton, a group of microbes responsible for about 40 percent of the total amount of photosynthesis that occurs on our planet. These organisms play a critical role in the global carbon cycle and ultimately in the global climate. Her research addresses the response of marine microbial communities to changing environmental conditions, including changes in biodiversity. She combines physiological, genomic, and computational approaches with instrument development to understand the distribution and capabilities of and interactions among marine microbes.
Armbrust heads the Center for Environmental Genomics at the University of Washington, which brings together researchers with expertise in oceanography, microbiology, genomics, engineering, and data visualization. She is a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Investigator in Marine Microbiology and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Society of Microbiology.