Alexis Pasulka

Assistant Professor Alexis PasulkaAlexis Pasulka, Ph.D.

AssOCIATE Professor

181-414 office
181-402 lab


Pasulka Lab website


B.S., Arizona State University (Biology)
Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego (Biological Oceanography)
Postdoc, California Institute of Technology (Microbial Ecology and Geobiology)

Research Interests

  • Population and community ecology of marine plankton
  • Food web interactions involving microzooplankton and viruses
  • Ecology of marine protozoa and viruses
  • Role of planktonic organisms in nutrient cycling

Advising Interests

  • Marine microbiology
  • Marine ecology
  • Plankton ecology
  • Population and community ecology


Research in my lab focuses on characterizing how and why marine microorganisms vary over time and space. By integrating field and lab-based studies with multiple complementary approaches (e.g., microscopy, molecular, and geochemical techniques), we explore a diversity of research questions related to microbial community distributions and interactions. However, we are particularly interested in how mortality processes (e.g., top-down controls), not just variations in the growth environment (e.g., bottom-up controls) influence the structure and function of marine microbial communities. Given that marine microorganisms are major drivers of biogeochemical processes in the oceans, determining the distributions, rates and interactions of microbial predators (i.e., microzooplankton grazers and viruses) is critical for adequate representation of plankton dynamics in ecosystem models and for developing a predictive understanding of lower trophic level response to climate variability.


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