Rebecca Vega Thurber

© F. Latreille/Tara Expéditions


Tara PACIFIC Coordinator (University of Oregon/Microbiome/Virome) – USA

Dr. Rebecca Vega Thurber is currently an Associate Professor of Microbiology at Oregon State University in the USA. Her lab investigates the microbial and viral ecology of threatened marine species and habitats. Over the past 10 years, she has been an author on several important papers on the dynamic roles of viruses and bacteria in marine systems with an emphasis of coral reef health and disease in journals such as Nature, Nature Communications, PNAS, and Global Change Biology.  Dr. Vega Thurber graduated from University of Santa Cruz in 1994, receiving two Bachelors of Arts degrees in Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology and Marine Biology. In 2005 she received her PhD from Stanford University in Biological Sciences where she studied developmental cell biology of marine invertebrates. She then conducted her postdoctoral work on viral and microbial metagenomics in the laboratory of Dr. Forest Rohwer at San Diego State University. Dr. Vega Thurber has since been teaching microbiology and conducting research on marine microbial ecology at first Florida International University (2009-2011) and now Oregon State University (2011-present). She has received over $2.5 million dollars in federal and state funding in order to achieve these goals and trained 4 postdocs, 4 graduate students, and 20 undergraduates in field of microbiology, virology, marine ecology, genomics, metagenomics, and meta-transcriptomics. She is currently the director the ‘Global Coral Microbiome Project’, an international collaborative project aimed at evaluating the microbiome of coral species that span the entire coral tree of life and are found in different habitats across the planet.