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Brandi Reese


Contact Information

Office: AHF 221
Phone: (213) 740-1763


  • B.S. Geology, Southern Methodist University,
  • M.S. Soil and Water Sciences, University of California, Riverside, 2007
  • Ph.D. Oceanography, Texas A&M University, 2011

Postdoctoral Training

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Southern California, 2011-  


Summary Statement of Research Interests

  • I am a molecular biogeochemist and my research emphasizes the interaction of the active microbial community with the geochemical environment. Specifically, I am interested in the sulfur and iron biogeochemical cycling and sediment diagenesis. It is estimated that a majority of the Earth's biomass is located within the ocean sediments and thereby cycling carbon and nutrients important for life.

    Through the use of geochemical techniques such as mass spectrometry, high pressure liquid chromatography, spectrophotometry, and solid-phase reactive/unreactive iron extraction, I have been able to characterize the porewater and solid sediment biogeochemistry. Additionally, I use molecular techniques such as RNA/DNA extraction, reverse transcription, PCR amplification, mRNA transcript quantification, and next generation sequencing to characterize the active microbial community. It is through these methods that I am trying to understand important questions for life in the subsurface:

    -How active is the microbial community within the sediment?
    -How genetically connected are microbes between global locations?
    -What geochemical variations lead to the geographic isolation of microbial communities?

    I am using sediments from the Integrated Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expeditions 325 (Great Barrier Reef), 329 (South Pacific Gyre), and 336 (North Pond) to explore these and many more questions. My past research has focused on both the inorganic sulfur and iron cycle as well as volatile organic sulfur compounds (VOSCs). I am interested in fluxes at the sediment-water interface and processes of the inorganic sulfur cycle as well as air-water exchange of VOSCs.

Research Keywords

  • microbial ecology of deep and shallow subsurface sediments, molecular geobiology, biogeochemical sulfur and iron cycling, microbial biogeography

Other Presentations

  • "Biogeography of geochemical characterizations and microbial communities within shallow and deep subsurface sediments", Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigation Network Series Speaker, Presentation Video Link, Fall 2011   


  • Journal Article

    Reese, B. K., Mills, H. J., Dowd, S. E., Morse, J. W. (2013). Linking molecular microbial ecology to geochemistry in a coastal hypoxic zone. Geomicrobiology Journal/Taylor & Francis. Vol. 30 (2), pp. 160-172.
    Mills, H. J., Reese, B. K., St. Peter, C. (2012). Characterization of microbial population shifts during sample storage. Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology. (DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2012.00049) Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology
    Mills, H. J., Reese, B. K., Shepard, A. K., Riedinger, N., Morono, Y., Inagaki, F. (2012). Characterization of metabolically active bacterial populations in subseafloor Nankai Trough sediments above, within and below the sulfate-methane transition zone. Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology. Vol. 3, pp. 113.
    Reese, B. K., Finneran, D. W., Mills, H. J., Zhu, M. X., Morse, J. W. (2011). Examination and refinement of the determination of aqueous hydrogen sulfide by the methylene blue method. Aquatic Geochemistry. Vol. 17 (4-5), pp. 567-582.
    Reese, B. K., Anderson, M. A. (2009). Dimethyl sulfide production in a saline eutrophic lake, Salton Sea, California. Limnology And Oceanography. Vol. 54 (1), pp. 250-261.
    Reese, B. K., Anderson, M. A., Amrhein, C. (2008). Hydrogen sulfide production and volatilization in a polymictic eutrophic saline lake, Salton Sea, California. Science Of The Total Environment. Vol. 406 (1-2), pp. 205-218.

Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

  • Nature Climate Change Two-Degree Target, Filmed during the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates, I and other international delegates explore climate change and its effects on the world with Nobel Laureates Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland, as well as political scientist Bjørn Lomborg.
    Nature Video, Spring 2010   

Service to the University


  • Member, Dive Control Board, 2013-2014   

Service to the Profession

Professional Memberships

  • American Chemical Society, 2008-  
  • American Academy of Underwater Scientists, 2006-  
  • American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, 2006-