Pia Moisander, PhD

Associate Professor




Violette Research 209


1996University of Helsinki, FinlandMS in Limnology
2002University of North Carolina Chapel HillPhD in Marine Science


  • Marine Microbiology
  • General Microbiology Laboratory
  • Biology of Cells Laboratory




Research interests

  • Marine microbial ecology
  • Diversity, distributions, and activity of marine microbes contributing to nitrogen fixation
  • Microbially mediated transformations of nitrogen
  • Ecology of toxin-producing cyanobacteria
  • Cyanobacterial blooms


Research Activities

  • EAGER: Collaborative Research: Detection limit in oceanic nitrogen fixation measurements - Constraints of rates from the mesopelagic ocean. NSF-Chemical Oceanography. 2017-2018.
  • Microbial associations in zooplankton: significance for the marine nitrogen cycle. NSF-Biological Oceanography. Sep 15 2011 - August 31 2016
  • Boston Engineering Corporation (Naval Sea Systems). Influence of UV light on marine biofilms. 2016-2019

Select publications

Moisander PH, Benavides M, Berman-Frank I, Bonnet S, White A, Riemann L. (2017).
Chasing after non-cyanobacterial nitrogen fixation in marine pelagic environments
Frontiers in Microbiology, 8

Shoemaker KM, Moisander PH (2017).
Seasonal variation in the copepod gut microbiome in the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean
Environmental Microbiology, 19, 3087-3097.

Moisander PH, Sexton AD, Daley MC. (2015).
Stable associations masked by temporal variability in the marine copepod microbiome
PLoS ONE, 10, 733-744.

Pia H. Moisander, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Department of Biology at the UMassD, and holds an Affiliate position at the Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences, School of Marine Science and Technology. Dr. Moisander obtained her M.S. degree at the University of Helsinki, Finland and her Ph.D. in Marine Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the latter supported with an ASLA-Fulbright fellowship. She was awarded a National Research Council Research Associateship at the NASA Ames Research Center (Moffett Field, California), and then held a Postdoctoral Researcher and subsequent Assistant Researcher positions at the University of California Santa Cruz.

Her research is in the field of marine microbial ecology, with emphasis on the microbial influence and interactions with marine biogeochemical cycles; specifically, the nitrogen cycle. Her research combines molecular, genomic, microbiological, and biogeochemical approaches. Recently her laboratory has investigated marine zooplankton microbiomes and contributed to research in development of approaches for measurements of marine nitrogen fixation. Her laboratory has recently been participating in collaborative research projects developing novel and sustainable antifouling solutions to marine biofouling.

Dr. Moisander is an author of >50 peer-reviewed publications in journals including Science, The ISME Journal, and Environmental Microbiology. She serves as an associate editor for two journals and has served as a reviewer for numerous journals and many federal and non-federal grant programs. Dr. Moisander has received past grant support from sources including NSF Biological Oceanography, NSF Chemical Oceanography, NSF Division of Environmental Biology, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, USGS, US Department of Energy, and via contracts with several private and non-profit organizations.

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