Sonya Dyhrman, Ph.D.

Sonya Dyhrman, Ph.D.


Columbia University

Dr. Sonya Dyhrman is a microbial oceanographer in the Department of Earth & Environmental Science and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. in marine biology from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and did her postdoctoral training at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her research is focused on marine microbial ecology and biogeochemistry with a focus on understanding the microbial traits and tradeoffs that govern community structure, function and their concomitant influence over carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus biogeochemistry in the changing ocean.

With an emphasis on field observations, she has participated in well over 40 research expeditions. She is a rising co-editor for the Journal of Phycology and on the editorial board for Environmental Microbiology. Dyhrman serves on the executive committee, and is a co-PI, for the newly formed NSF Science and Technology Center: Center for Chemical Currencies of a Microbial Planet, working to advance the Center’s integrated research and education mission. 

She was a Sir Allan Sewell Fellow with the Australian Rivers Institute, a Marie Tharp Fellow with the Columbia University Earth Institute, a 2-time Kavli Fellow with the National Academy of Science Frontiers of Science Program and is an investigator with the Simons Foundation Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology. In addition to her research efforts, Dyhrman teaches classes on topics including microbiology, climate, oceanography and science communication. She has developed stakeholder monitoring programs to track toxic marine microbes and has developed a number of outreach activities, giving more than 1.5 million children exposure to science literacy standards and the process of discovery.