Sean Anderson

Sean Anderson shown filtering seawater for environmental DNA (eDNA) collection

Research Highlights

Research Interests

Marine microbial ecology and physiology.

Environmental DNA to target microbes to bony fishes.

Establishing time series sampling (space and time).

Linking biology to environmental variables.

Methods development for eDNA research.

Sean Anderson, Ph.D.

NGI Postdoctoral Researcher, Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division

4301 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, Florida 33149

“I knew I wanted to become a scientist after my first look at seawater underneath a microscope. I could not believe the world of plankton and microbial life that was previously hidden to the naked eye.”

Life in the ocean is diverse and dynamic. Dr. Anderson’s research is aimed at better understanding the ecology of marine life, from the smallest single-celled microbes to DNA molecules that are shed from larger animals like fish. More specifically, his research is focused on advancing ‘omics research at NOAA, with an emphasis on methods development for marine environmental DNA (eDNA) extraction, sample processing, and bioinformatics pipelines. These methods are being applied to the collection of eDNA off coastal Florida (Biscayne Bay) and on cruises in the Gulf of Mexico, allowing us to measure biodiversity over space and time and gain insight into the response of marine life to a changing environment.

NGI Postdoctoral Researcher, Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division

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2013, B.S. Biological Sciences (Magna Cum Laude), Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia

2016, M.S. Oceanography, RSMAS, University of Rhode Island, South Kingstown, Rhode Island

2020, Ph.D. Marine Science, RSMAS, University of Georgia, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography

  1. Anderson, S.R., and L.R. Thompson. Optimizing an enclosed bead beating extraction method for microbial and fish environmental DNA. Environmental DNA, 4(2):291-303, 2022
    Ref. 4014
  2. Thompson, L.R., S.R. Anderson, P.A. Den Uyl, N.V. Patin, G. Sanderson, and K.D. Goodwin. Tourmaline: A containerized workflow for rapid and iterable amplicon sequence analysis using QIIME 2 and Snakemake. GigaScience, 11(1):giac066, 2022
    Ref. 4130
  3. Formel, N., I.C. Enochs, C. Sinigalliano, S.R. Anderson, and L.R. Thompson. Subsurface Automated Samplers for eDNA (SASe) for biological monitoring and research. HardwareX, 10:e00239, 2021
    Ref. 4031

NOAA NGI. Characterizing the biodiversity and variability of the biological carbon pump in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Lead postdoc on the grant – contributed to writing and synthesis. Lead PI is Luke Thompson (NOAA advisor); Co-PIs are Emily Osbourne (AOML) and Julie Richey (USGS). 2021

NOAA Ocean Acidification Program. Assessing ecosystem responses of Gulf of Mexico communities to OA using environmental DNA (short: eDNA-GOMECC-4). Lead postdoc on the grant – contributed to writing and synthesis. Lead PI is Luke Thompson (NOAA advisor); Co-PIs are Leticia Barbero (CIMAS) and Chris Kelble (AOML). 2021

South Association of Marine Laboratories. Travel support to ASLO 2019

FlowCam Travel Stipend. Travel support to Ocean Sciences 2018

UGA Doctoral Summer Research Travel Grant 2017

RI NSF EPSCoR Graduate Research Fellowship 2016

URI GSO Alumni Student Award 2015

Ann Durbin Memorial Endowment Award (URI, GSO) 2015