Pia Moisander

Assistant Professor

Ph.D University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Marine Microbiology, Microbial Ecology

Email: pmoisander@umassd.edu
Phone: 508-999-8222 
Office: Science and Engineering, Room 330B

Marine microbial ecology, diversity, distributions, and activity of marine microbes contributing to nitrogen fixation, and other microbially mediated transformations of nitrogen.

Ecology of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, cyanobacterial blooms.

 Recent Publications | Graduate Students |  Courses


Link to Moisander Lab website

Current Projects

$616,980         Microbial associations in zooplankton: significance for the marine nitrogen cycle. NSF-Biological Oceanography. Sep 15 2011 - August 31 2014

$25,000           Linkages between bacteria and the Moon Jelly Aurelia aurita. SMS seed grant (with J. Urban-Rich, UMass Boston)


Past funding


$9,999             C-MORE (Center of Microbial Oceanography and Education) Edventures.  Undergraduate research: nitrogen fixation in heterotrophic microbes in the Sargasso Sea. 7/2011-7/2012

$1,500             Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative. Diversity of toxin-producing cyanobacteria on Nantucket Island.

$1,000             The Sounds Conservancy Grants Program, Quebec-Labrador Foundation.

                        Toxin production by cyanobacteria on Nantucket Island.  

Recent Publications 

Mulholland MR, Filippino KC, Bernhardt PW, Blanco J, Mondragon E, Turk K, Moisander PH, Zehr JP. 2012. N2 fixation and nifH gene diversity in mid-Atlantic coastal waters. Limnology and Oceanography 57:1067-1083

Moisander PH, Cheshire LA, Braddy J, Calandrino L, Hoffman M, Piehler MF, Paerl HW. 2012. Facultative diazotrophy increases competitive strength of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii under fluctuating nitrogen availability. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 79:800-811

Moisander PH, Zhang RF, Boyle EA, Hewson I, Montoya JP, Zehr JP. 2012. Analogous nutrient limitations in unicellular diazotrophs and Prochlorococcus in the South Pacific Ocean. The ISME Journal 6:733-744 doi:10.1038/ismej.2011.152

Bombar D, Moisander PH, Dippner JW, Foster RA, Voss M, Karfield B, Zehr JP. 2011.Distribution of diazotrophic micro-organisms and nifH gene expression in the Mekong River plume during intermonsoon. Marine Ecology Progress Series 424:39-U55

Moisander PH, Beinart RA, Hewson I, White A, Johnson K, Carlson C, Montoya JM, Zehr JP. 2010.  Distributions of unicellular cyanobacteria broaden the oceanic N2 fixation domain.  Science 327:1512-1514

Moisander PH, Lehman PW, Ochiai M, Corum S. 2009.  Diversity of Microcystis aeruginosa in the Klamath River and San Francisco Bay delta, California.  Aquatic Microbial Ecology 57:19-31

Moisander PH, Ochiai M, Lincoff A. 2009.  Nutrient limitation of Microcystis aeruginosa in northern California Klamath River reservoirs.  Harmful Algae 8:889-897

Hewson I, Poretsky R, Beinart RA, White A, Shi T, Bench SR, Moisander PH, Paerl RW, Tripp HJ, Montoya JP,Moran MA and JP Zehr. 2009. In situ transcriptomic analysis of the globally important keystone N2-fixing taxon Crocosphaera watsonii in the Southwest Pacific Ocean.  The ISME Journal 3:618-631

Zehr JP, Hewson I, Moisander PH. 2009. Molecular biology techniques and applications for ocean sensing. Ocean Science 5:101-113

Moisander PH, Paerl HW, Zehr JP. 2008. Effects of inorganic nitrogen on taxa-specific cyanobacterial growth and nifH expression in a subtropical estuary.  Limnology and Oceanography 53:2519-2432

Moisander PH, Beinart RA, Voss M, Zehr JP. 2008. Diversity and abundance of diazotrophs in the South China Sea during intermonsoon.  The ISME Journal 2:954-967

Moisander PH, Paerl HW, Dyble J, Sivonen K. 2007. Phosphorus limitation and diel control in nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria in the Baltic Sea.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 345:41-50

Hewson I, Moisander PH, Morrison AE, Zehr JP. 2007. Diazotrophic bacterioplankton in a coral reef lagoon: Phylogeny, diel expression, and response to phosphate enrichment.  The ISME Journal 1:78-91

Moisander PH, Morrison AE, Ward BB, Jenkins BD, Zehr JP. 2007. Spatial-temporal variability in diazotroph assemblages in Chesapeake Bay using an oligonucleotide nifH microarray.  Environmental Microbiology 9:1823-1835.

Recent Graduate Students

Katyanne Shoemaker (2011-current)

Rosemary Scavotto (2012-current)

Sarah Holmes (2012-current)


Post doctoral scholars

Elizabeth McCliment (2012-current)


Courses Professor Moisander has taught include:

BIO 471/571 Marine Microbiology

BIO 321 General Microbiology Laboratory

BIO 244 Biology of Cells Laboratory

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