• Associate Professor
Jason Sylvan



OCNG 251 - Introduction to Oceanography

OCNG 453 - Hydrothermal Vents and Mid-Ocean Ridges

OCNG 620 - Biological Oceanography

OCNG 650 - Aquatic Microbial Ecology


Additional Information


Associate Professor - 2020-present, Dep't of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Assistant Professor - 2015-2020, Dep't of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Assistant Professor (Research) - 2013-2015, Dep't of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Postdoctoral Fellow - 2008-2013, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Educational Background

  • Ph. D., January 2008, Rutgers University, Biological Oceanography, New Brunswick
  • M. Sc., 2004, Rutgers University, Biological Oceanography, New Brunswick, NJ
  • B. Sc., 1999, Brandeis University, Biology, Waltham, Massachusetts¬†

Research Interests

    • Geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry of hydrothermal vent and subseafloor environments
    • Biogeochemistry and microbiology of Texas-Louisiana continental shelf and surrounding environments 
    • Geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry of terrestrial hot springs and subsurface environments

Awards & Honors

  • 2016 KAVLI Fellow
  • 2016-2017 IODP Ocean Discovery Lecturer
  • 2018 Dean's Distinguished Achievement Award: Innovative Educator Award

Selected Publications

  • Postdoctoral research associates/Assistant Research Associates supervised by me are underlined and indicated with a +, graduate students for whom I am their primary advisor are underlined and indicated with a *, and undergraduate students supervised in my lab are underlined and indicated with a **
       Hydrothermal Vent & Subseafloor Microbiology
       Defforey, D, BJ Tully, JB Sylvan, BJ Cade-Menun, B Kiel Reese, L Zinke, A Paytan (2022) Potential phosphorus uptake mechanisms in the deep sedimentary biosphere. Frontiers in Marine Science 9: 907527.
       Wee, SY**, V Edgcomb, D Beaudoin, S Yvon-Lewis & JB Sylvan. 2021. Microbial abundance and diversity in subsurface lower oceanic crust at Atlantis Bank, Southwest Indian Ridge. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 87(22): e01519-21.
       Sylvan, JB, ER Estes, K Bogus, FS Colwell, BN Orcutt & DC Smith. 2021. Technical Note 4: Recommendations for microbiological sampling and contamination tracer use aboard the JOIDES Resolution following 20 years of IODP deep biosphere research. International Ocean Discovery Program. https://doi.org/10.14379/iodp.tn.4.2021
       Li, J, P Mara, F Schubotz, JB Sylvan, G Burgaud, F Klein, D Beaudoin, S-Y Wee*, H Dick, S Lott, R Cox, LAE Meyer, M Quémener, DK Blackman & VP Edgcomb. 2020. Recycling and metabolic flexibility dictate life in the lower oceanic crust. Nature579(7799): 250-255.
       Sheik, C., BK Reese, KI Twing, JB Sylvan, SL Grim, MO Schrenk, ML Sogin & F Colwell. 2018. Discovering life in the subsurface: A cautionary tale of identifying and removing common extraction associated microorganisms. 2018. Frontiers in Microbiology9: 840.
       Monteverde, DR, JB Sylvan, C Suffridge, JJ Baronas, E Fichot, J Fuhrman, W Berelson, SA Sanudo-Wilhelmy. 2018. Distribution of extracellular flavins in a coastal marine basin and their relationship to redox gradients and microbial community members. Environmental Science & Technology52: 12265-12274.
       Sylvan, JB, SD Wankel, DE Larowe, CN Charoenpong, JA Huber, CL Moyer & KJ Edwards. 2017. Evidence for microbial mediation of subseafloor nitrogen redox processes at Loihi Seamount, Hawaii. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta198: 131-150.
       Orcutt, BN, JB Sylvan, D Rogers, J Delaney, RW Lee & PR Girguis. 2015. Carbon fixation by basalt-hosted microbial communities. Frontiers in Microbiology6: 904.
       Sylvan, JB, CL Hoffman, LM Momper, BM Toner, JP Amend & KJ Edwards. 2015. Bacillus rigiliprofundi, sp. nov., an endospore forming, Mn-oxidizing, halotolerant bacterium isolated from deep subseafloor basaltic crust. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology65(6): 1992-1998.
       Jacobson Meyers, ME¹, JB Sylvan¹ and KJ Edwards. 2014. Extracellular enzyme activity and microbial diversity measured on seafloor exposed basalts from Loihi Seamount indicate importance of basalts to global biogeochemical cycling. Applied and Environmental Microbiology80(16): 4854-4864.
       ¹both authors contributed equally to this work.
       Sylvan, JB, TY Sia**, AG Haddad, LJ Briscoe, BM Toner, PR Girguis and KJ Edwards. 2013. Low temperature geomicrobiology follows host rock composition along a geochemical gradient in Lau Basin. Frontiers in Microbiology4: 61.
       Sylvan, JB, BM Toner & KJ Edwards. 2012. Life and death of deep-sea vents: Bacterial diversity and ecosystem succession on inactive hydrothermal sulfides. mBio 3(1): e00279.
       Edwards, KJ, CG Wheat & JB Sylvan. 2011. Under the sea: life in volcanic oceanic crust. Nature Reviews Microbiology9: 703-712.
       Orcutt, BN, JB Sylvan, N Knab & KJ Edwards. 2011. Microbial ecology of the dark ocean above, at, and below the seafloor. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews75(2): 361-422.
       Gulf of Mexico Microbial Ecology and Biogeochemistry
       Doyle+, SM, MJ Self**, J Hayes**, KEF Shamberger, AMS Correa, SW Davies, LZ Santiago-Vazquez & JB Sylvan. 2022. Microbial community dynamics provide evidence for hypoxia during a coral reef invertebrate mortality event. Applied and Environmental Microbiology88(9): e00347-22.
       Aljandal, S*, SM Doyle+, G Bera, TL Wade, AH Knap & JB Sylvan. 2022. Mesopelagic microbial community dynamics in response to increasing oil and Corexit 9500 concentrations. PLoS One17(2): e0263420.
       Achberger, AM+, SM Doyle+, MI Mills**, CP Holmes II**, A Quigg & JB Sylvan. 2021. Bacteria-Oil-Micro-aggregates: An Underestimated Mechanism for Hydrocarbon Degradation in the Marine Water Column. mSystems6(5): e01105-21.
       Doyle, SM+, G Lin*, M Morales-McDevitt, TL Wade, A Quigg & JB Sylvan. 2020. Niche partitioning between coastal and offshore shelf waters results in differential expression of alkane and PAH catabolic pathways. mSystems5(4): e00668-20.
       Kamalanathan, M, SM Doyle+, C Xu, AM Achberger+, T Wade, K Schwehr, P Santschi, JB Sylvan, and A Quigg. 2020. Exoenzymes as a signature of microbial response to marine environmental conditions. mSystems5(2): e00290-20.
       Kealoha, A, SM Doyle+, KEF Shamberger, JB Sylvan, RD Hetland & SF DiMarco. 2020. Localized hypoxia drives coral reef mortality at the Flower Garden Banks. Coral Reefs, 39: 119-132.Sylvan, JB and JW Ammerman. 2013. Seasonal distributions of organic nutrients on the Louisiana and their implications for nutrient limitation and hypoxia formation. Marine Chemistry154: 113-123.
       Bera, G1, SM Doyle+1, U Passow, M Kamalanathan, TL Wade, JB Sylvan, JL Serciano, G Gold, A Quigg & AH Knap. 2019. Biological response to dissolved versus dispersed oil. Marine Pollution Bulletin150: 110713. 1 these authors contributed equally to this paper
       Doyle, SM+, EA Whitaker*, V De Pascuale**, TL Wade, AH Knap, PH Santschi, A Quigg & JB Sylvan. 2018. Rapid formation of microbe-oil aggregates and changes in community composition in coastal surface water following exposure to oil and the dispersant Corexit. Frontiers in Microbiology9: 689.
       Quigg, A, U Passow, W-C Chin, C Xu, S Doyle+, L Bretherton, M Kamalanathan, AK Williams, JB Sylvan, Z Finkel, AH Knap, KA Schwehr, S Zhang, L Sun, TL Wade, W Obeid, PG Hatcher, & PH Santschi. 2016. The role of microbial exopolymers in determining the fate of oil and chemical dispersants in the ocean. Limnology and Oceanography Letters1: 3-26.
       Quigg, A, JB Sylvan, AB Gustafson, TR Fisher, RL Oliver, S Tozzi and JW Ammerman. 2011. Going west: role of phosphorus limitation in expanding primary production across the Louisiana shelf. Aquatic Geochemistry17: 519-544.
       Sylvan, JB, Q Dortch, DM Nelson, AF Maier Brown, W Morrison & JW Ammerman. 2006. Phosphorus limits phytoplankton growth on the Louisiana shelf during the period of hypoxia formation. Environmental Science and Technology40(24): 7548-7553.