Sheryl is a deep-sea microbial ecologist whose research focuses on understanding the roles microbes play in biogeochemical cycles and how they contribute to the functioning of the ecosystems in which they live. Her work deals primarily with life in extreme environments, such as hydrothermal vents and oxygen minimum zones. She uses molecular tools, including DNA barcoding and metagenomics, to understand the diversity and functional capacity of microbes and identify potentially important interspecies interactions with larger organisms. She also uses isotope geochemistry to measure various rates for processes within the nitrogen cycle.

Sheryl completed her BSc in biological oceanography at the University of Washington (UW) in 1998. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as a part-time lab technician measuring bacterial production rates in the Columbia River Estuary. After completing her BSc, she spent 16 years as a full-time lab technician/manager, first at UW (1998-2006) and then the University of Victoria (UVic, 2006-2014), working on hydrothermal vent microbial ecology and isotope geochemistry. In 2014 she decided to pursue a doctoral degree at UVic, which she completed in 2021. Before coming to BIOS, she stayed on for a one-year postdoc at UVic to help launch a phytoplankton metabarcode sequencing project as part of the Oceans of Biodiversity Initiative.

Research Interests:
Microbial ecology, metagenomics, species interactions, ecosystem function, microbial eukaryotes and parasitism.

Educational Background:
University of Victoria, Canada (2021)
-PhD (Earth and Ocean Sciences)
University of Washington, Seattle (1998)
-BSc (Biological Oceanography

Further Information:
View Sheryl's CV

Selected Publications:
Murdock SA, Tunnicliffe V, Boschen-Rose RE, & SK Juniper (2021). Emergent ‘core communities’ of microbes, meiofauna and macrofauna in hydrothermal vents. ISME Communications. ISME Communications 1:27.