Oregon State University

Dr. Rebecca Vega Thurber








Dr. Rebecca Vega Thurber

Assistant Professor, Oregon State University

454 Nash Hall, Corvallis OR 97331

Google Scholar



San Diego State NSF BIO Minority Postdoctoral Fellow (advisor Forest Rohwer)

Stanford University; PhD Biological Sciences (advisor David Epel)

UC Santa Cruz; BA Marine Biology & BA Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology






Assistant Professor, Oregon State University

Assistant Professor, Florida International University

Adjunct Faculty, San Diego State University

National Science Foundation Minority Postdoctoral Fellow

EPA NCER STAR Graduate Student Fellow

California Sea Grant Graduate Student Fellow

Alfred P. Sloan Graduate Student Fellow, Stanford University

August 2011 to present

January 2009 to August 2011

January 2006 to December 2008

January 2006 to December 2008

August 2003 to Dec 2005

August 2001 to 2003

September 1999-August 2001




OSU Courses Taught: Bacterial Molecular Genetics (undergraduate), Microbial Diversity (undergraduate and graduate), Microbial Systems (graduate), Great Works in Microbiology (graduate)         

FIU Courses Taught for: Cell Biology (undergraduate), Invertebrate Zoology (undergraduate), Marine Microbiology (undergraduate) 

Faculty & Instructor, Pauley Coral Biology Class, Hawaii Institute Marine Biology June-July 2007



PI NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program Domestic Coral Reef. Evaluations of the mechanisms behind nutrient induced coral disease and bleaching with Deron Burkepile (FIU) recommended for funding July 2014-June 2015 ($79,600)

PI Tartar Fund Measuring how the physical world affects bacterial-bacterial interactions ($5000)

Co-PI NIH 424 R&R and PHS-398 Anti-IL-12p40 Treatment of CVID Enteropathy: Gene Expression/Microbiota with PIs Andriy Morgan (OSU), Natalia Shulzhenko (OSU) and Ivan Fuss (NIH) (my portion $85,800)  

PI NSF OCE Career Life Balance Supplement Award, May 2013-Jan 2014 ($20,104)

Co-PI NOAA Living Marine Resources with Andrew Baker (University Miami) 2012-2014 (my portion $18,706)

PI Oregon Seagrant Program Development Grant 2012-2013 ($10,000) 

Co-PI NSF OCE Grant, Cascading interactions of herbivore loss and nutrient enrichment on coral reef macroalgae, corals, and microbial dynamics, Sept 2011-Sept 2014 (my portion ~$403,000)

Subcontract FIO/BP Grant, Sponge microbiota as sentinels of oil contamination, Oct 2010-Oct 2012, ($120,000) with lead PI Jose Lopez (Nova Southeastern)

PI NSF OCE Grant, Effects of Viruses on Coral Fitness, May 2010-May 2013, ($600,000)

PI NSF BIO/IOS, Starter Grant Viral Induction of Growth Anomalies in Coral, 2009-2010, ($50,000) 

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Sequence Program: (sequencing for 8 viral metagenomes)  

Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship NSF BIO, Dec 2005-Dec 2008 ($180,000) 

EPA Graduate Student Fellowship, 2003-2005 ($69,000) 

Chancellor Scholarship, University of California, 1994-1998, UCSC ($10,000)

Other small undergraduate and graduate awards and scholarships totaling ($11,300)



  • Current  PhD students: Rory Welsh, Stephanie Rosales, and Ryan McMinds
  • Past PhD students: Dr. Nitzan Soffer (now postdoc at Colombia University)
  • Current postdocs: Drs. Jesse Zaneveld and Jerome Payet
  • Past postdocs: Drs. Adrienne Simoes Correa (now faculty at Rice University) Marie Cuvelier (now at Nova Southeastern)
  • Current and past adviser to 9 undergraduate researchers
  • Current and past member of 9 PhD dissertation committees
  • Current and past member of 2 undergraduate honors thesis committees
  • Organizer and founder of public outreach Science Café “Eat, Think and Be Merry
  • Panel speaker for graduates and postdocs at International Symbiosis Society Meeting 
  • Invited faculty and instructor: “Coral Molecular Biology” Annual Pauley Course, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology



  • Reviewer for the following journals: Nature, PNAS, Journal of General Virology, Environmental Microbiology and Microbiology Reports, BioScience, Coral Reefs, Marine Ecology, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, ISME Journal, BMC Biology, Aquatic Microbiology, Journal of Experimental Biology, Applied Environmental Microbiology, PLoS One, PLoS Biology, JEMBE, Marine Biology, Journal of Phycology 
  • Reviewer for the National Science Foundation and NOAA Sea Grant 
  • NSF panel member 2014 OCE postdoctoral fellowship; 2012 Bio OCE; 2011 Stress Defense and Symbiosis; 2010  Mechanisms of Inheritance  
  • Conference session coordinator  ISME 2014 Viral Ecology Session with Eric Wommack
  • Webmaster (2009) & Secretary (2010-2011) Florida Branch of the American Society of Microbiology



  • NSF Research Coordination Network (RCN) Workshop on Marine Disease. Honolulu, HI, USA, February 2014 (invited)
  • National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis Earth Cube Workshop, Developing a Community Vision of Cyberinfrastructure Needs for Coral Reef Systems Science, Santa Barbara, October 2013 (invited)
  • NSF Research Coordination Network (RCN) Workshop on Marine Disease. Seattle, WA, USA, October 2012 (invited)
  • National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) Workshop on the Evaluation of Coral Reef Conservation. Santa Barbara, CA, USA, September 2012 (invited)
  • Ecology of Marine Infectious Diseases (EMID) Workshop, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA. February 2011 (invited)
  • Joint Genome Institute (JGI) Microbial Genomics & Metagenomics Workshop. Walnut Creek, CA, USA. June 2009 (workshop attendee)



  • Australian Boating License, QLD, Australia (2011)
  • MOCC Boat Training Certification, FIU (2009)
  • AAUS Certification, San Diego State University, Mark Flahan DSO (2005)
  • Over 300 logged dives in Eastern Australia, the central (Hawaii) and coastal Pacific (California, Mexico), Caribbean, Red Sea
  • R/V Atlantis Cruise 2006 Costa Rica, Jaco Basin Methane Seeps   



  • Deron Burkepile, Florida International University (experimental community ecology & microbiology of tropical reefs)
  • Roman Stocker, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (visualizing how the physical world affects bacterial-bacterial interactions)
  • Victoria Orphan, California Institute of Technology (viruses in methane seeps)
  • Misha Matz, UT Austin, (effects of viral infection on coral larval development)
  • Brian Silliman, Duke University, (microbiology of coral predation)
  • Andrew Baker, University of Miami (effects of nutrients and overfishing on coral associated Symbiodinium diversity)
  • Natalia Shulzhenko and Andriy Morgun, Oregon State University (viral metagenomics of the small intestine of patients with common variable immunodeficiency syndrome) 
  • Marilyn Brandt and Tyler Smith, University of the Virgin Islands (disease ecology of tropical reefs)
  • Drew Harvell, Cornell University (viruses as inducers of growth anomalies in corals)
  • Jose Lopez, Nova Southeastern (sponge microbial metagenomics)
  • David Miller and Tracy Ainsworth, James Cook University (viral metagenomics in the model organism Acropora)

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