Hewson lab combines biological oceanography and microbial ecology (known as microbial oceanography) and focuses upon understanding the structure and function of the marine microbial loop and how it relates to biogeochemical function on local and global scales. Questions addressed in the lab include: How do marine viruses influence elemental cycling in the ocean? What controls the composition and activities of microbial assemblages in seawater and sediments? Work in the field onboard ocean-going research vessels, at marine field stations, and in the marine microbiology laboratory at Cornell employs approaches from traditional oceanographic and microbiological techniques through to assemblage fingerprinting and high-throughput sequencing of metagenomes and assemblage gene transcripts.
About Dr. Hewson: Ian Hewson is a biological oceanographer and microbial ecologist who focuses on viral ecology in aquatic habitats. He did his undergraduate degree in botany at the University of Queensland (2000) where he conducted a study on the distribution and impact on algal photosythesis of benthic and pelagic viruses along trophic gradients in estuaries as part of an honors degree. He then pursued a PhD in Marine Environmental Biology at the University of Southern California (2005) where his thesis examined the viral impacts on bacterial host assemblage composition. After a postdoc at the University of California, Santa Cruz in metagenomics and metatranscriptomics he joined the faculty in the Department of Microbiology in January 2009.