Susanna Theroux – Ecologist


Ph.D., Geological Sciences, Brown University, 2012

M.S., Geological Sciences, Brown University, 2009

B.A., Biology and Geology, Williams College, 2005


Dr. Theroux is a microbial ecologist studying the interactions between microbial communities and nutrient stressors. She specializes in the use of high-throughput DNA sequencing to untangle microbial interactions, from nutrient food webs and carbon cycling to novel species characterization. She has worked in a range of aquatic systems with a special focus on photosynthetic microalgae as sentinels of anthropogenic disturbance and climate change.


Scientist, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority. Costa Mesa, CA. 2016-present.

Computational biology postdoctoral fellow, DOE Joint Genome Institute. Walnut Creek, CA. 2012-2015.

Graduate research assistant, Brown University Department of Geological Sciences. Providence, RI. 2007-2012.

Research technician, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. Woods Hole, MA. 2005-2007.


DOE Joint Genome Institute Director’s Discretion Proposal, 2014.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Dissertation Fellowship, 2011.

Geological Society of America (GSA) Student Research Grant, 2010.

Brown-MBL Graduate Fellowship, Brown University, 2007-2009.

Professor Jack L. Strominger Graduate Fellowship, Brown University, 2008.

Freeman Foot Award (for thesis presentation), Williams College, 2005.

1960s Scholar in Geosciences, Williams College, 2005.

Student Scholar Athlete, Williams College, 2005.

Dean’s List, Williams College, 2001-2005.


American Association of University Women (AAUW)

Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) .

Sigma XI Scientific Research Society .

International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) .

Phycological Society of America (PSA) .


Longo, W., Theroux, S., Giblin, A.E., Zheng, Y., Dillon, J.T., Huang, Y. 2016. Temperature calibration and phylogenetically distinct distributions for freshwater alkenones: Evidence from northern Alaskan lakes. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 180: 177-196.

D’Andrea, W., Theroux, S., Bradley, R., Huang, X. 2016. Does phylogeny control Uk37-temperature sensitivity? Implications for lacustrine alkenone paleothermometry. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 175:168-180. .

Theroux, S., Toney, J.L., Amaral-Zettler, L., Huang, Y. 2013. Production and temperature sensitivity of long chain alkenones cultured haptophyte Pseudoisochrysis paradoxa. Organic Geochemistry. .

Theroux, S. 2012. Diversity and ecology of lacustrine haptophyte algae: implications for paleothermometry. Ph.D. dissertations, Brown University. Providence, RI. .

Theroux, S., Huang, Y., Amaral-Zettler. 2012. Comparative molecular microbial ecology of spring haptophyte blooms in an arctic oligosaline lake in Greenland. Frontiers in Microbiology. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00415. .

Toney, J., Theroux, S., Andersen, R., Coleman, A., Amaral-Zettler, L., Huang, Y. 2012. Culturing of the first 37:4 predominant lacustrine haptophyte: Geochemical, biochemical, and genetic implications. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 78:51-64. .

Theroux, S., D’Andrea, W.J., Toney, J., Amaral Zettler, L.A., Huang, Y. 2010. Phylogenetic diversity and evolutionary relatedness of alkenone producing haptophyte algae in lakes: Implications for continental paleotemperature reconstructions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 300:311-320. .

Amaral-Zettler, L., Zettler, E., Theroux, S., Palacios, C., Aguilera, A., Amils, R. 2010. Microbial community structure across the tree of life in the extreme Río Tinto. ISME Journal. doi:10.1038/ismej.2010.101.

Stoll, H. M., Ziveri, P., Shimizu, N., Conte, M., Theroux, S. 2007. Relationship between coccolith Sr/Ca ratios and coccolithophore production and export in the Arabian Sea and Sargasso Sea. Deep Sea Research II 54:581-600. .

Theroux, S. 2005. Effects of nutrient limitation on the productivity of coccolithophore algae and the paleoclimatic implications. B.A. thesis, Williams College. Williamstown, MA. .


Theroux, S. 2016. California Statewide Algae Plan: Past, Present, and Future. California Aquatic Bioassessment Workgroup. Davis, CA. Theroux, S., Hartman, W., Tringe, S. 2015. Wetland Microbial Community Response to Restoration. Paper presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. San Francisco, CA.

Theroux, S. Hartman, W., Tringe, S. 2015. Marsh Madness: Microbial Communities Driving Greenhouse Gas Cycling in Coastal Wetlands. Paper presented at the Genomics of Energy & Environment. Walnut Creek, CA.

Theroux, S. Hartman, W., He, S., Windham-Myers, L., Tringe, S. 2014. Microbial Diversity and Carbon Cycling in San Francisco Bay Wetlands. Paper presented at the Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting. Portland, OR.

Theroux, S. 2014. Metagenomics and Metatranscriptomics: a Case Study from San Francisco Bay Wetlands. Paper presented at the Genomics of Energy & Environment. Walnut Creek, CA.

Theroux, S. Huang, Y., Amaral-Zettler, L. 2012. Haptophyte DNA and Alkenone Signatures During a Spring Algal Bloom Event in Lake George, ND, USA. Paper presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. San Francisco, CA. .

Theroux, S., Burke, A., Stoll, H., Shimuzu, N., Ziveri, P. 2005. Constraining Nutrient Effects in Monsoon-Driven Productivity Shifts During the Mediterranean Sapropel Events. Paper presented at the Geological Society of America Northeastern Section Annual Meeting. Saratoga Springs, NY. .