Pia Moisander

Associate 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

$49,900         National Science Foundation, Chemical Oceanography OCE1733610 EAGER: Collaborative Research: Detection limit in oceanic nitrogen fixation measurements - Constraints of rates from the mesopelagic

$40,162         Boston Engineering Corporation. OHIO Class hull external antifouling - Influence of UV light on marine biofilms.  Phase II. Subcontracts. Primary funding agency: NAVSEA (Naval Sea Systems).


Past funding

$24,313           Nantucket Land Council/Nantucket Yacht Basin/Nantucket Shellfish Association. Influence of nutrients on benthic cyanobacterial blooms in the Nantucket Harbor.

$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)

$24,126           Multidisciplinary Seed Funding; UMass Dartmouth (Office of the Provost). Marine Paleomics- a promising new approach for exploring biological and living marine resource responses to climate change.

$33,255         Boston Engineering Corporation. OHIO Class hull external antifouling. Phase I. Subcontracts. Primary funding agency: NAVSEA (Naval Sea Systems).

$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

$5,000            United States Geological Survey (Massachusetts Water Resources Research Institute). Influence of nutrients on Microcystis blooms in the Charles River watershed. 

Recent Publications 

Moisander PH, Benavides M, Bonnet S, Berman-Frank I, White A, Riemann L. 2017. Chasing after non-cyanobacterial nitrogen fixation in marine pelagic environments. Frontiers in Microbiology 8:1736 doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01736

Berthelot H, Benavides M, Moisander PH, Grosso O, Bonnet S. 2017. High nitrogen fixation fixation rates in the particulate and dissolved pools in the Western Tropical Pacific (Solomon and Bismarck Seas). Geophysical Research Letters 44: 8414-8423 doi: 10.1002/2017GL073856 

Shoemaker KM, Moisander PH. 2017. Seasonal variation in the copepod gut microbiome in the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean. Environmental Microbiology 19: 3087- doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13780

Daley MC, Urban-Rich J, Moisander PH. 2016. Bacterial associations with the hydromedusa Nemopsis bachei and scyphomedusa Aurelia aurita from the North Atlantic Ocean. Marine Biology Research DOI 10.1080/17451000.2016.1228974

Benavides M, Moisander PH, Daley MC, Bode A, Aristegui J. 2016. Longitudinal variability of diazotrophs in the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Plankton    Research 38(3):662-672

Benavides M, Moisander PH, Berthelot H, Dittmar T, Grosso O, Bonnet S. 2015. Mesopelagic heterotrophic N2 fixation related to organic matter composition in the Solomon and Bismarck Seas (Southwest Pacific). PLoS ONE 10(12): e0143775.

Scavotto R, Dziallas C, Benzon-Tilia M, Riemann L, Moisander PH. 2015. Microbial community composition in association of copepods in the North Atlantic coastal waters. Environmental Microbiology 17(10): 3754-3765

Moisander PH, Sexton AD, Daley MC. 2015. Stable associations masked by temporal variability in the marine copepod microbiome. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0138967

Severin I, Bentzon-Tilia M, Moisander PH, Riemann L. 2015. Nitrogenase expression in estuarine bacterioplankton influenced by organic carbon and availability of oxygen. FEMS Microbiology Letters 326(14): fnv105

Shoemaker KM, Moisander PH. 2015. Microbial diversity in association of copepods in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 91(7): fiv064

Dabundo R, Lehmann MF, Treibergs L, Tobias CR, Altabet MA, Moisander PH, Granger J. 2014. Contamination of commercial 15N2 gas stocks with 15N-labeled nitrate and ammonium and consequences for N2 fixation measurements. PLoS ONE 9(10): e110335.

Moisander PH, Serros T, Paerl RW, Beinart RA, Zehr JP. 2014. Gammaproteobacterial diazotrophs and nifH expression in surface waters of the South Pacific Ocean. ISME Journal 8: 1962-1973

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)

Abhishek Najik (2015-current)

Rosemary Scavotto (2012-2015)

Sarah Holmes (2012-2015)


Post doctoral scholars

Elizabeth McCliment (2012-2014)


Courses Professor Moisander has taught include:

BIO 471/571 Marine Microbiology

BIO 321 General Microbiology Laboratory

BIO 244 Biology of Cells Laboratory

BIO 499 Capstone study in Biology

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