• Dr. Morris studied aquatic ecology with Joseph Dirnberger at Kennesaw State University in North Georgia as an undergraduate before moving into marine microbiology during his graduate studies at the University of Tennessee under Dr. Erik Zinser. He was a NASA Astrobiology Institute postdoctoral fellow working in Richard Lenski’s lab at Michigan State University until 2014, where he studied the role of reductive evolution in structuring microbial communities.

    Jeff is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He brews his own beer and mead and entertains himself in his spare time listening to very loud and unpleasant music. He’s very happily married to an organic farmer and has two children, Hippolyta and Eirik. Jeff Tweets about microbiology, evolution, and academic life at @ASDarwinist.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2019 Representing the costs of low-carbon power generation in multi-region multi-sector energy-economic modelsInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control.  87:170-187. 2019
    2019 Impacts of China's emissions trading schemes on deployment of power generation with carbon capture and storageEnergy Economics.  81:848-858. 2019
    2019 Advanced technologies in energy-economy models for climate change assessmentEnergy Economics.  80:476-490. 2019
    2018 Toward a consistent modeling framework to assess multi-sectoral climate impactsNature Communications.  9. 2018
    2018 Competition and Synergy Between Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus Under Ocean Acidification Conditions 2018
    2018 Anthropogenic N deposition alters the composition of expressed class II fungal peroxidasesApplied and Environmental Microbiology.  84. 2018
    2018 Black Queen markets: commensalism, dependency, and the evolution of cooperative specialization in human societyJournal of Bioeconomics.  20:69-105. 2018
    2018 Degradation of hydrogen peroxide at the ocean's surface: The influence of the microbial community on the realized thermal niche of Prochlorococcus 2018
    2018 The impact of elevated CO 2 on Prochlorococcus and microbial interactions with â € helper' bacterium Alteromonas 2018
    2018 Hedging strategies: Electricity investment decisions under policy uncertaintyEnergy Journal.  39:101-122. 2018
    2018 Interdisciplinary STEM education reform: Dishing out art in a microbiology laboratoryFEMS Microbiology Letters.  365. 2018
    2018 What is the hologenome concept of evolution?F1000Research.  7. 2018
    2018 What is the hologenome concept of evolution? [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]F1000Research.  7. 2018
    2016 Transitions in individuality through symbiosisCurrent Opinion in Microbiology.  31:191-198. 2016
    2016 Private benefits and metabolic conflicts shape the emergence of microbial interdependenciesEnvironmental Microbiology.  18:1415-1427. 2016
    2016 Diel regulation of hydrogen peroxide defenses by open ocean microbial communitiesJournal of Plankton Research.  38:1103-1114. 2016
    2016 Long-term economic modeling for climate change assessmentEconomic Modelling.  52:867-883. 2016
    2015 Sustained fitness gains and variability in fitness trajectories in the long-term evolution experiment with Escherichia coliProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.  282. 2015
    2015 Impact of ocean acidification on the structure of future phytoplankton communitiesNature Climate Change.  5:1002-1006. 2015
    2015 Black Queen evolution: The role of leakiness in structuring microbial communitiesTrends in Genetics.  31:475-482. 2015
    2015 Response of photosynthesis to ocean acidificationOceanography.  28:74-91. 2015
    2014 Coexistence of evolving bacteria stabilized by a shared Black Queen function.Evolution.  68:2960-2971. 2014
    2013 Continuous hydrogen peroxide production by organic buffers in phytoplankton culture media. 2013
    2012 The role of China in mitigating climate changeEnergy Economics.  34. 2012
    2012 Marginal Abatement Costs and Marginal Welfare Costs for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions: Results from the EPPA ModelEnvironmental Modeling and Assessment.  17:325-336. 2012
    2012 The black queen hypothesis: Evolution of dependencies through adaptive gene lossmBio.  3. 2012
    2011 The future of U.S. natural gas production, use, and tradeEnergy Policy.  39:5309-5321. 2011
    2011 Dependence of the cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus on hydrogen peroxide scavenging microbes for growth at the ocean's surfacePLoS ONE.  6. 2011
    2010 Costs of mitigating climate change in the United StatesAnnual Review of Resource Economics.  2:257-273. 2010
    2009 The cost of climate policy in the United StatesEnergy Economics.  31. 2009
    2008 Facilitation of robust growth of Prochlorococcus colonies and dilute liquid cultures by "helper" heterotrophic bacteriaApplied and Environmental Microbiology.  74:4530-4534. 2008
    2007 Photochemical production of H2O2 in buffered media reduces Prochlorococcus growth 2007
    2003 Parasitic exploitation as an engine of diversityBiological Reviews.  78:639-675. 2003

    Research Overview

  • Our research focuses on the base of the marine food web — microbial photosynthetic organisms called phytoplankton. We’re interested in how ecology and evolution intertwine to determine these organisms’ fates, and consequently, the fates of the vast communities they feed.

    Our researchers make organisms evolve in the lab. We also get on boats and study our favorite green critters in their native habitats: some of the most exotic environments in the world. We leverage our skills in molecular biology and computation to try to predict what our world will look like 100 years from now.

    Ongoing projects in the lab include experimental investigations of the Black Queen Hypothesis, which is a new theory of evolution that predicts that cooperation can evolve in communities that depend on “leaky” biological functions. We’re also interested in using laboratory evolution to find out how quickly important marine algal species can adapt to the changes humans are causing to their environments. One very new direction is the use of polar ice cores to find microbial fossils that allow us to study evolution over the past 100,000 years or so, including how bacteria have adapted to previous bouts of climate change (such as the ice ages). We’re very open-minded — if you’ve got research interests in microbial evolution and are looking for a lab to work in, send us an email at evolve@uab.edu and tell us your crazy ideas!

    Experimental Evolution, Phytoplankton Ecophysiology, Discovery-based Microbiology Education
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Science or Mathematics in Microbiology, University of Tennessee System : Knoxville 2011
  • Bachelor of Science or Mathematics in Biology, Kennesaw State University 2006
  • Full Name

  • Jeffrey Morris