Matthew Church

Matthew Church

Associate Professor

Office: Flathead Lake Biological Station Rm 115

Curriculum Vitae


Recent List of Courses Taught:

  • Summer 2018,  BIOB 491 “Aquatic Microbial Ecology”, Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana. 
  • Spring 2018, BIOM 415 “Microbial Ecology, Diversity, and Evolution”, University of Montana.
  • Summer 2017, BIOB 491 “Aquatic Microbial Ecology”, Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana.
  • Spring 2017, BIOM 415 “Microbial Ecology, Diversity, and Evolution”, University of Montana.
  • Spring 2016, OCN 621 “Biological Oceanography”, University of Hawaii
  • Fall 2015, OCN 626 “Marine Microplankton Ecology”, University of Hawaii 
  • Summer 2015, “Microbial Oceanography: Genomes to Biomes”, University of Hawaii


2003                The College of William and Mary, Ph.D., Marine Science

1999                The College of William and Mary, M.Sc., Marine Science

1994                The Evergreen State College, B.Sc.

Research Interests

Microbial ecology, aquatic nitrogen cycling, organic matter cycling by microorganisms


PUBLICATIONS (2017-2018)

Articles and Invited Book Chapters

Single underline indicates graduate student working under Church’s mentorship; double underline indicates undergraduate student working under Church’s mentorship; asterisk (*) indicates post-doc working under Church’s mentorship.

Published Articles and Chapters


Church, M.J., Cullen, J.J., Karl, D.M. Approaches to Measuring Marine Primary Production. 2018. Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, 3rdedition. In Press.

Wilson, S.T., Church, M.J. Microbial ecology in the North Pacific Subtropucal Gyre. 2018. Frontiers in Marine ScienceIn press.

Björkman, K.M., S. Duhamel, M.J. Church, D.M. Karl. 2018. Spatial and temporal dynamics of inorganic phosphate and adenosine-5’-triphosphate in the North Pacific Ocean. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5: doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00235.

Kavanaugh, M.T., Church, M.J., Davis, C.O., Karl, D.M., Letelier, R.M., Doney, S. 2018. ALOHA from the Edge: Reconciling three decades of in situ Eulerian observations and geographic variability in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5:

Martínez-GarcíaS., Bidigare, R.R., del Valle, D.A., Juranek, L.W., Nicholson, D.P., Viviani, D.A., Wilson, S.T., Church, M.J.  2018. Control of net community production by microbial community respirationat Station ALOHA. Journal of Marine Systems,184: 28-35.

Peoples, L., Donaldson, S., Osuntokun, O., Xia, Q, Nelson, A., Blanton, J., Church, M.J., Bartlett, D.H. 2018. Vertically distinct microbial communities in the Mariana and Kermadec trenchesPLoS ONE 13: e0195102.

Rii, Y., Bidigare, R.R., Church, M.J. 2018. Differential responses of eukaryotic phytoplankton to nitrogenous nutrients in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.Frontiers in Marine Science, 5:

Zakem, E., Al-Haj, A., Church, M.J., van Dijken, G., Dutkiewicz, S., Foster, S.Q., Fulweiler, R.W., Mills, M.M., Follows, M.J. 2018. Ecological control of nitrite in the upper ocean. Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03553-w.

Viviani, D.A., Böttjer, D.*, Letelier, R.M., Church, M.J. 2018.The influence of abrupt increases in seawater pCO2on plankton productivity in the subtropical North Pacific Ocean. PLoS ONE 13: e0193405.

White, A.E., K. Watkins-Brandt, M.J. Church. 2018. Temporal variability of Trichodesmiumspp. and diatom-diazotroph assemblages in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5:

Lindh, M.*, Maillot, B., Smith, C.R., Church, M.J. 2018. Habitat filtering of bacterial communities above polymetallic nodule fields and sediments in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean. Environmental Microbiology Reports 10: 113-122. doi: 10.1111/1758-2229.12627.


Lindh, M.*, Maillot, B., Shulse, C.*, Gooday, A.J., Amon, D.J. Smith, C.R., Church, M.J. 2017.From the Surface to the Deep-Sea: Bacterial Distributions across Polymetallic Nodule Fields in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean. Frontiers in Microbiology8: doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01696.

Wilson, S.T., F.O. Aylward, F. Ribalet, B. Barone, J.R. Casey, P. E. Connell, J.A. Eppley, S. Ferrón, A.E. Romano, K.A. Turk-Kubo, A.Vislova, E. V. Armbrust, D.A. Caron, M.J. Church, J.P. Zehr, D.M. Karl, E.F. DeLong. 2017. Coordinated regulation of growth, activity and transcription in natural populations of the unicellular nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Crocosphaera.  Nature MicrobiologyNat. Micro. 2:17118. doi: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.118.

Limardo, A. J., Sudek, S., Choi, C. J., Poirier, C., Rii, Y. M., Blum, M., Roth, R., Goodenough, U., Church, M. J. and Worden, A. Z. 2017. Quantitative biogeography of picoprasinophytes establishes ecotype distributions and significant contributions to marine phytoplankton. Environmental Microbiology, doi:10.1111/1462-2920.13812

Shilova, I. N., Mills, M. M., Robidart, J. C., Turk-Kubo, K. A., Björkman, K. M., Kolber, Z., Rapp, I., van Dijken, G. L., Church, M. J., Arrigo, K. R., Achterberg, E. P. and Zehr, J. P. 2017. Differential effects of nitrate, ammonium, and urea as N sources for microbial communities in the North Pacific Ocean. Limnology and Oceanography, doi:10.1002/lno.10590

Karl, D.M. and M.J. Church. 2017. Ecosystem structure and dynamics in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre: New views of an old ocean. Ecosystems 3: 433–457.

Goldberg, S.J.*, C.E. Nelson, D.A. Viviani, C.N. Shulse*, and M.J. Church. 2017. Cascading influence of inorganic nitrogen substrate on DOM production, composition, lability and microbial community structure in the surface waters of the oligotrophic ocean. Environmental Microbiology. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13825

Gradoville, M.R., Crump, B.C., Letelier, R.M., Church, M.J., White, A.E. 2017. Microbiome of Trichodesmiumcolonies from the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Frontiers in Microbiology8: doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01122

Viviani, D.A.and M.J. Church. 2017. Decoupling between bacterial production and primary production over multiple time scales in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Deep-Sea Research I121: 132-142.

Eichner, M.J., I. Klawonn, S.T Wilson, S. Littmann, M. Whitehouse, M.J. Church, M.M. Kuypers, D.M Karl, and H. Ploug.  2017. Chemical microenvironments and single-cell carbon and nitrogen uptake in field collected colonies of Trichodesmium under different pCO2.The ISME Journal 11: 1305-1317.

Letelier. R.M., A.E. White, R.R. Bidigare, B. Barone, M.J. Church, and D.M. Karl.  2017. Light absorption by phytoplankton in the North Pacific subtropical gyre. Limnology and Oceanography 62: 1526-1540.

Böttjer, D.*, J.E. Dore, D.M. Karl, R.M. Letelier, C. Mahaffey, S.T. Wilson, and M.J. Church. 2017. Temporal variability in nitrogen fixation and particulate nitrogen export at Station ALOHA. Limnology and Oceanography 62: 200-216. doi: 10.1002/lno.10386.

Shulse, C. N.*, Maillot, B., Smith, C. R. and Church, M. J. 2017. Polymetallic nodules, sediments, and deep waters in the equatorial North Pacific exhibit highly diverse and distinct bacterial, archaeal, and microeukaryotic communities. MicrobiologyOpen. 2017;6:e00428.




2015                Recipient, Yentsch-Schindler Early Career Award, Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography

2015                Recipient, Klaus Wrytki Graduate Teaching Award, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii

2015                Recipient, 2015 Na Kama Kai Excellence in Teaching Award, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii  

                                        2009                Co-recipient of 2009 Cozzarelli Prize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 

Professional Experience

2016-present   Associate Professor, Division of Biological Sciences, Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana

2016                Professor, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii

2011-2016       Associate Professor (with tenure), Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii

2007-2011       Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii

2004-2007       Assistant Researcher, University of Hawaii

2003-2004       Postgraduate Research Scientist, University of California Santa Cruz

1996-2002       Graduate Research Assistant, The College of William and Mary, School of Marine Science