Oregon State University

Past Members

Former Ph.D. Students:



Nitzan Soffer

Nitzan's PhD research focused on viruses associated with diseased corals. Specifically, she analyzed viral metagenomes from corals with signs of white plague disease and/or bleaching from the US Virgin Islands using a combination of fieldwork (SCUBA), molecular lab work and bioinformatics. Among other discoveries, she found strong associations with a specific group of eukaryotic ssDNA viruses and white plague infected Montastraea annularis corals (Soffer et al., 2013)

Curriculum Vitae



Former Postdocs:



Dr. Jérôme Payet

Viruses are the most abundant and diverse biological entities in the world’s oceans, and all marine life forms are susceptible to viral infection. Coral reefs are complex and diverse ecosystems that harbour abundant and diverse microbes including protists, prokaryotes, fungi and viruses. However, relatively little is known about the ecology and genetic diversity of viruses in coral-associated microbes. The focus of my research is to use field experiments and culturing approaches in combination with single cell and next-gen sequencing tools to 1) examine the genetic structure and diversity of coral-associated viruses, 2) characterize viruses that infect coral-dinoflagellate endosymbionts (Symbiodinium) and, 3) evaluate the ecological roles of viruses in these vulnerable ecosystems. This work will hopefully provide novel insights into previously unknown roles of viruses in maintaining healthy coral ecosystems. 

Google Scholar | Curriculum Vitae | Email


HERBVRE | Moorea (IRCP Robert WAN - Tahiti Perles Grant)


Adrienne and sea lion

Adrienne Correa

Marie and boat

Marie Cuvelier

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