Skip to content

Dr. Julie Huber

Senior Scientist
Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry

Contact Information:
Work: 508-289-2556
Building: Watson

Mailing Address:
266 Woods Hole Road, MS #51
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Personal Website


Learn About Julie: Watch Julie on an episode of StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson here or listen to Julie chat with Bill Nye on his podcast Science Rules!


  • Marine microbiology
  • Deep crustal habitats (vents, seamounts, etc)
  • Ocean Worlds
  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in STEM
  • Science Communication & Storytelling


  • L’Oréal USA Fellowship for Women In Science
  • National Research Council Research Associateship Award
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Recent Publications

Lab members with an *. A complete list is on ORCID

D’Angelo, T., Goordial, J., Poulton, N.J., *Seyler, L., Huber, J.A., Stepanauskas, R., and B. N. Orcutt. 2022. Activity-based single-cell genomes from oceanic crustal fluid captures similar information to metagenomic and metatranscriptomic surveys with orders of magnitude less sample volume. Frontiers in Microbiology. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.738231

Hoffert, M., Anderson, R.E.*, Reveillaud, J.C.*, Murphy, L.G.*, Stepanauskas, R., and J.A. Huber. 2021. Genomic variation influences Methanothermococcus fitness in marine hydrothermal systems. Frontiers in Microbiology. 12:714920. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2021.714920.

Hu, S.K.*, Herrera, E.L.*, Smith, A.R.*, Pachiadaki, M.G., Edgcomb, V.P., Syvla, S.P., Chan, E.W., Seewald, J.S., German, C.R., and J.A. Huber. 2021. Protistan grazing impacts microbial communities and carbon cycling at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  118 (29) e2102674118;

Thomas, E., Anderson, R.*, Li, V., Rogan, J., and J.A. Huber. 2021. Diverse viruses have restricted biogeography in deep-sea hydrothermal vent fluids. mSystems.

Trembath-Reichert, E.*, Shah Walter, S.R., Fontanez Ortiz, M.A.*, Carter, P.D.*, Girguis, P.R., and J.A. Huber. 2021. Multiple carbon incorporation strategies support microbial survival in cold subseafloor crustal fluids. Science Advances. 7(18):eabg0153. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abg0153

Fortunato, C.*, Butterfield, D.A., Larson, B., Lawrence-Slavas, N., Algar, C.*, Allen, L.Z., Holden, J., Proskurowski, G., Reddington, E.*, Stewart, L., Topçuoğlu, B., Vallino, J., and J.A. Huber. 2021. Seafloor incubation experiment with deep-sea hydrothermal vent fluid reveals effect of pressure and lag time on autotrophic microbial communities. 87(9):e00078-21. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00078-21.

Seyler, L.M*, Trembath-Reichert, E.*, Tully, B.J.* and J.A. Huber. 2020. Time-series transcriptomics from cold, oxic subseafloor crustal fluids reveals a motile, mixotrophic microbial community. ISME Journal. 15:1192–1206.

Moulana, A., Anderson, R.*, Fortunato, C.F.* and J.A. Huber. 2020. Selection is a significant driver of gene gain and loss in the pangenome of the bacterial genus Sulfurovum in geographically distinct deep-sea hydrothermal vents. mSystems. 5:e00673-19.

Orcutt, B.N., Bradley, J., Brazelton, W.J., Estes, E.R., Goordial, J.M., Huber, J.A., Jones, R.M., Mahmoudi, N., Marlow, J.J., Murdock, S. and M. Pachiadaki. 2020. Impacts of deep-sea mining on microbial ecosystem services. Limnology and Oceanography.

Galambos, D. Anderson, R.E.*, Reveillaud, J.*, and J.A. Huber. 2019. Genome-resolved metagenomics and metatranscriptomics reveal niche differentiation in functionally redundant microbial communities at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Environmental Microbiology. 21:4395-4410.

Trembath-Reichert, E., Butterfield, D.A. and J.A. Huber. 2019. Active subseafloor microbial communities from Mariana back-arc venting fluids share metabolic strategies across different thermal niches and taxa. ISME Journal.

Stewart, L.C., Algar, C.K., Fortunato, C.S., Larson, B.I., Vallino, J.J., Huber, J.A., Butterfield, D.A., and J.F. Holden. 2019. Fluid geochemistry, local hydrology, and metabolic activity define methanogen community size and composition in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. ISME Journal.

Huber, J.A. and C. Preston. 2018. Take to the high seas: microbiology labs below the ocean surface. Crystal Ball Article. Environmental Microbiology Reports.

Huber, J.A. 2018. Deep-sea life: Studying subseafloor microbes. iBiology.

Walter, S.S., Jaekel, U., Osterholz, H, Fisher, A., Huber, J.A., Pearson, A. Dittmar, T, and P.R. Girguis. 2018. Decomposition of marine dissolved organic matter in cool oceanic crust. Nature Geosciences. 11:334–339.

Louca, S., Polz, M.F., Mazel, F., Albright, M.B.N, Huber, J.A., O’Connor, M.I., Ackermann, M., Hahn, A.S., Srivastava, D.S., Crowe, S.A., Doebeli, M., and L.W. Parfrey. 2018. Function and functional redundancy in microbial systems. Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Van Dover, C.L., Arnaud-Haond, S., Gianni, M., Helmreich, S. Huber, J.A., Jaeckel, A.L., Metaxas, A., Pendleton, L.H., Petersen, S., Ramirez-Llodra, E., Steinberg, P.E., Tunnicliffe, V., and Yamamoto, Y. 2018. Scientific rationale and international obligations for protection of active hydrothermal vent ecosystems from deep-sea mining. Marine Policy. 90:20–28.

Reveillaud, J., Anderson, R., Reves-Sohn, S., Cavanaugh, C., and J.A. Huber. 2018. Metagenomic investigation of vestimentiferan tubeworm endosymbionts from Mid-Cayman Rise reveals new insights into metabolism and diversity. Microbiome. 6:19

Fortunato, C.S., Larson, B.J., Butterfield, D.A., and J.A. Huber. 2018. Spatially distinct, temporally stable microbial populations mediate biogeochemical cycling at and below the seafloor in hydrothermal vent fluids. Environmental Microbiology. 20:769–784.

Tully, B., Wheat, C.G., Glazer, B., and J.A. Huber. 2018. A dynamic microbial community with high functional redundancy inhabits the cold, oxic subseafloor aquifer. ISME Journal. 12:1-16.

Anderson, R.E., Reveillaud, J.C., Reddington, E., Delmont, T., Eren, A.M., McDermott, J.M., Seewald, J.S., and J.A. Huber. 2017. Genomic variation in microbial populations inhabiting the marine subseafloor at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Nature Communications. 8:1114.

Meyer, J.L, Jaekel, U., Tully, B. Glazer, B.T., Wheat, C.G., H-T, Lin., C-C, Hsieh, Cowen, J.P., Hulme, S.M., Girguis, P.R., and J.A. Huber. 2016. A distinct and active bacterial community in cold oxygenated fluids circulating beneath Mid-Atlantic seafloor. Scientific Reports. 6:22541.

Fortunato, C.F. and J.A. Huber. 2016. Coupled RNA-SIP and metatranscriptomics of active chemolithoautotrophic communities at a deep-sea hydrothermal vent. ISME Journal. 10:1925-1938.

Reveillaud, J., Reddington, E., McDermott, J., Meyer, J.L., Algar, C., Sylva, S., Seewald, J., German, C.G., and J.A. Huber. 2016. Subseafloor microbial communities in hydrogen-rich vent fluids from hydrothermal systems along the Mid-Cayman Rise. Environmental Microbiology. 8:1970–1987.

Follow us on social


Ph.D.: Biological Oceanography and Certificate in Astrobiology.  2004. University of Washington.

B.S.: Marine Science. 1998. Eckerd College


Julie is an oceanographer by training and is broadly interested in how basic earth processes- rocks forming, fluids moving, sediments accumulating- interact to create and maintain life in the oceans. Her research addresses some of the most central questions about the nature and extent of life on Earth in one of its least explored corners, the subseafloor habitat beneath the ocean floor. She also enjoys mentoring the next generation of scienctist and communicating their work to the public.

News and Updates

June 2024: Welcome to our 7 CC-CREW community college students joining WHOI to work with us, Colleen Hansel, Carolyn Tepolt, Anna Michel, Alan Seltzer, Harriet Alexander, and Collin Ward!

May 2024: Julie did Ocean Encounters with fellow WHOI scientists Dr. Heidi Sosik and Dr. Nina Yang. Watch it here.

Feb 2024: Check out this beautiful highlight video from our cruise to Axial Seamount last summer here.

Jan  2024: New paper from Dr. Sarah Hu and lots of folks in the lab- read about protistan grazing at deep-sea vents here.

Jan  2024: Julie did a fun event with NASA Astronaut Loral O'Hara. Watch the video here.

Dec 2023: To sea, to sea, we go again... one of many highlight videos and blogs from the OctoOdyssey cruise to Costa Rica that Julie participated in with Schmidt Ocean Institute.

Oct 2023: Julie helps lead an "Early Career Leadership Master Class" that trains ECRs in deep-sea expedition planning from start to finish. This NSF-funded program is open to ECRs across the world and is held virtually. Apply here.

August 2023: Julie was quoted in some fun articles about deep-sea vents in the NYTimes and Scientific American.

July 2023: The lab had an amazing "COVID Re-do" cruise to Axial Seamount with the ROV Jason to study life and death of microbes in venting fluids. You can read all about it here!

June 2023: CC-CREW 2023 is underway, with 6 regional community college students joining WHOI to work with us, Colleen Hansel, Scott Wankel, Carolyn Tepolt, and Collin Ward! Read about this program here.

June 2023: Julie is participating remotely in a cruise to Costa Rican seamounts to understand microbial ecosystem services. Follow the adventure with Schmidt Ocean Institute here. #OctoOdyssey on social!

May 2023: Together with her colleague Dr. Beth Orcutt, Julie spoke about microbes and deep-sea mining to "Science for the Public." Watch the interview here.

May 2023: Some great media coverage of our Schmidt Ocean Institute cruise listed here.

March 2023: Off to sea we go again, this time to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge with Schmidt Ocean Institute and NOAA Ocean Exploration to search for new styles of hydrothermal venting. #LostCityVents on social and follow the expedition here! You can find our cruise blog and videos here.

Feb 2023: Our application site for our community college research experience program (CC-CREW) is now live! Learn more here and apply here! Applications are due March 24.

Dec 2022: The lab is back at sea, exploring life at high pH in mud volcanoes from the western Pacific, Mariana Forearc! Learn more about this work from NASA-supported MIT/WHOI graduate student Sabrina in this fun video.

Oct 2022: New paper alert with postdoc Sarah and many collaborators describing microbial eukaryotes in vents around the globe. Read it here.

July 2022: New paper alert with former postdocs Rika and Ben describing microbial populations in ridge flank crustal fluids. Read it here.

June 2022: We are heading to sea soon! You can get up to speed on our science via a custom Axial Wordle created by Sarah Hu. We will be posting updates here as well.

June 2022: We are so excited to be welcoming 6 community college students to WHOI this summer as part of CC-CREW! Juanita and Gabriella are working in our lab, and Gabe, Alese, Kali, and Mikayla with Colleen Hansel, Maggi Brisbin (Harriet Alexander's lab), Collin Ward, and Carolyn Tepolt. Welcome all!

June 2022: A few years ago Julie was on StarTalk Live! talking about Ocean Worlds research with scientists and comedians, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson! You can watch the video or podcast.

May 2022: Julie and many colleagues published a paper about deep-sea observatories at hydrothermal vents.

Jan 2022: Julie and colleagues from Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences published a paper about single cell genomics of microbes in crustal fluids here.

Oct 2021: We are super excited to welcome Dr. Elaine Luo to the lab! Elaine comes to us from Univ. Hawaii and is a WHOI Postdoctoral Scholar with expertise in DNA viruses! Welcome!

August 2021: MIT EAPS Graduate Student Emilie together with members of the lab and Dr. Lisa Zeigler Allen published a paper describing the genome of a deep-sea vent bacteria fondly referred to as "the snot bug" in the lab.

July 2021: Postdoc Amy Smith is off to start her sure-to-be amazing faculty career at Bard College at Simon's Rock! We already miss her unicorns.

July 2021: Postdocs Sarah and Amy, and many collaborators published a new paper with Julie about protistan grazers deep-sea hydrothermal vent fluids. Read the press release here.

June 2021: We are thrilled to welcome 6 undergrads to the lab this summer- while much of their work will be remote, we are excited to have Derrick (Hampton U), Claire (OSU), Lan (Bunker Hill CC), Morgan (Cape Cod CC), Molly (Bristol CC), and Josei (Cape Cod CC) working with us!

June 2021: Julie and former postdoc Rika and her awesome undergrads at Carleton College published a new paper about viruses and their microbial hosts in deep-sea hydrothermal vent fluids.

April 2021: Julie and colleagues published a paper about doing stable isotope probing at the bottom of the ocean! And we got the cover, showing the ROV Jason sampling Axial Seamount.

Feb 2021: Julie gave a short talk for the UN Ocean Decade, NAS Ocean Shot launch meeting about the ocean crustal biosphere. Fast forward to 16 minutes to watch it here!

Feb 2021: Our application site for our community college research experience program is now live! Learn more here and apply here! Applications are due March 31.

Feb 2021: We are super excited to welcome Dr. Bayleigh Benner to the lab! Bayleigh comes to us from Univ. Wisconsin and is an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow with expertise in RNA viruses! Welcome!

Jan 2021: We published a new paper describing our first metatranscriptomic study of the microbial communities in the low biomass, cold, oxic crustal aquifer. They are metabolically flexible & on the move!

Oct 2020: As part of MassSTEM Week, Julie & Gretta hosted an online event informational session about our community college internship program. You can watch the slideshow here & learn more about our efforts to bring community college students to WHOI here.

Sept 2020: Julie participated in the WHOI Ocean Encounters event on September 16 "Oceans Beyond Earth: From Earth's deep ocean to the search for extraterrestrial life" with Julie and colleagues (and a comedian!). Watch the recorded event here.

July 2020: We have opened the lab at 30% capacity. Wear those masks!

July 2020: The lab is still closed, and we said good-bye to postdoc Ashley Bulseco! She is joining the faculty at Eckerd College. We will miss her.

June 2020: We welcome Sabrina Elkassas to the lab! She is a new JP MIT-WHOI graduate student in Chemical Oceanography.

June 2020: Julie gave a virtual talk about Life on the Seafloor & Ocean Worlds for the NASA NOW network. Watch it here.

May 2020: The lab is still closed, and we said good-bye to postdoc Lauren Seyler! She is joining the faculty at Stockton U. We will miss her.

April 2020: The lab is still closed. Former postdocs Rika and Caroline, together with undergraduate Alief from Carleton College and Julie, published their work about the pangenome of subseafloor microbes in venting fluids. Read it here!

March 2020: Due to COVID-19, the lab at WHOI shutdown in mid-March.

Jan 2020: Julie is a co-author on a new publication that reviews the potential impacts of deep-sea mining on microbial ecosystem services. You can read the press release or go straight to the paper here.

Nov 2019: Julie joined Bill Nye and Corey Powell to talk all things Ocean Worlds on the Science Rules! Podcast, including how life works in the deep sea and the prospects for life beyond. Listen here.

Oct 2019: Former postdoc Rika and her student David from Carleton College, together with Julie, published their work about subseafloor microbes in venting fluids from the Mid-Cayman Rise. Read it here!

Aug 2019: Julie was interviewed for this feature on how the deep sea could "unlock" exploring outer space, published in the Christian Science Monitor.

Aug 2019: Cape Cod Community College intern Patrick Carter and Julie were highlighted in this short feature about working in the lab at WHOI.

May-June 2019: Postdocs Amy Smith and Sarah Hu are off to sea while Julie runs operations from the Inner Space Center at URI as part of our NASA SUBSEA project! Watch live ROV dives at Gorda Ridge at Nautilus Live through June 8.

May 2019: Postdoc Elizabeth published on our work about subseafloor microbes in venting fluids from the Mariana Back-Arc, some of the deepest vents in the Pacific Ocean. Read it here! and check out the cruise blog from Schmidt Ocean Institute.

March 2019: Postdoc Amy published a chapter of her PhD thesis on microbes living on rocks below the subseafloor. Read it here!

February 2019: Julie and colleagues published a manuscript on how chemistry and hydrology shape methanogenic communities at Axial Seamount. Read it here.

Read more

December 2018: Postdoc Elizabeth is at sea on an early career training cruise and got her first dive in Alvin! Learn more here.

December 2018: Julie was quoted in this fun radio story about subsurface life on KQED.

November 2018: Julie and Chris Preston from MBARI published this opinion piece about bringing science to the seafloor through innovative technology.

November 2018: Julie will be joining StarTalk on November 14 at Beacon Theater in NYC with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ellie Kemper, and other guests.

November 2018: Postdoc Sarah published a review paper about protist diversity with her PhD advisor Dave Caron. Read it here.

October 2018: Learn more about the "below-ground biome" as featured in this article in The Scientist magazine.

October 2018: We are excited to welcome postdoc Dr. Sarah Hu to the lab! She is a C-DEBI fellow who works on microbial eukaryotes in the ocean!

October 2018: Julie joined colleagues Bob Ballard, Kevin Hand, and Chris German at National Geographic for an evening talk and panel on Exploring Ocean Worlds. Check out some pictures from the event here.

October 2018: Congratulations to postdoc Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert, who just received the L'Oréal USA Fellowship For Women In Science. Learn more about Elizabeth's awesome work here!

September 2018: We are excited to welcome postdoc Dr. Ashley Bulseco-McKim to the lab. She is working between our lab at WHOI and Dr. Joe Vallino's lab at MBL. Learn about her project here.

September 2018: Julie was featured in a Podcast for the AirSpace Museum about Ocean Worlds. You can listen here!

September 2018: Julie was featured in the Boston Globe about the lab's cruise to to Lōʻihi Seamount. You can read more here!

August 2018: Julie was on NPR's Science Friday to talk about the lab's cruise to Lōʻihi Seamount. You can listen here!

August 2018: Postdocs Amy Smith and Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert are off to sea! Watch live ROV dives at Lōʻihi Seamount at Nautilus Live through September 10.

July 2018: The lab is busy getting ready to head to sea! We will be joining a NASA, NOAA, and OET supported mission to the underwater volcano Lōʻihi Seamount. Learn more here!

June 2018: We are excited to welcome our undergraduate interns from Cape Cod Community College. Learn more about this local internship program here!

May 2018: New publication from Julie & colleagues about carbon cycling beneath the seafloor. See the press release and paper to learn more!

April 2018: New perspective from Julie & colleagues around the globe about microbes and their niche. See the press release and paper to learn more!

March 2018: New publication arguing that all active hydrothermal vents should be protected from deep-sea mining. Read it here!

Feb 2018: Congrats to postdoc Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert for receiving the National Academy of Sciences Cozzarelli Prize for her recent publication in PNAS about deeply buried life beneath the seafloor.