Jason Sylvan

Jason Sylvan

Assistant Professor

Assistant Department Head for Academics and Undergraduate Affairs

Biological Oceanography: Microbial Ecology, Geomicrobiology, Deep Biosphere, Hydrocarbon Microbiology


  (979) 845-5105

  Eller O&M 716


  • Geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry of hydrothermal vent and subseafloor environments
  • Oil spill microbial ecology
  • Biogeochemistry and microbiology of coastal hypoxia ("dead zones") 

Selected Publications

Hydrothermal Vent & Subseafloor Microbiology

Sylvan, JB, SD Wankel, DE Larowe, CN Charoenpong, JA Huber, CL Moyer & KJ Edwards. 2017. Evidence for microbial mediation of subseafloor nitrogen redox processes at Loihi Seamount, Hawaii. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 198: 131-150.

Orcutt, BN, JB Sylvan, D Rogers, J Delaney, RW Lee & PR Girguis. 2015. Carbon fixation by basalt-hosted microbial communities. Frontiers in Microbiology, 6: 904.

Barco, RA, D Emerson, JB Sylvan, BN Orcutt, G Ramirez, J Zhong & KJ Edwards. 2015. New insight into microbial iron oxidation as revealed by the proteomic profile of an obligate iron-oxidizing chemolithoautotroph. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 81(17): 5927-5937.

Sylvan, JB, CL Hoffman, LM Momper BM Toner, JP Amend & KJ Edwards. 2015. Bacillus rigiliprofundi, sp. nov., an endospore forming, Mn-oxidizing, halotolerant bacterium isolated from deep subseafloor basaltic crust. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 65(6): 1992-1998.

Meyers, MJ*, JB Sylvan* and KJ Edwards. 2014 Extracellular enzyme activity and microbial diversity measured on seafloor exposed basalts from Loihi Seamount indicate importance of basalts to global biogeochemical cycling. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 80(16): 4854-4864.
*both authors contributed equally to this work

Sylvan, JB, TY Sia, AG Haddad, LJ Briscoe, BM Toner, PR Girguis and KJ Edwards. 2013. Low temperature geomicrobiology follows host rock composition along a geochemical gradient in Lau Basin. Frontiers in Microbiology, 4: 61.

Sylvan, JB, BM Toner & KJ Edwards. 2012. Life and death of deep-sea vents: Bacterial diversity and ecosystem succession on inactive hydrothermal sulfides. mBio 3(1): e00279.

Sylvan, JB, BC Pyenson, O. Rouxel, GR German and KJ Edwards. 2012. Time series analysis of two hydrothermal plumes at 9˚50'N East Pacific Rise reveals distinct, heterogeneous bacterial populations. Geobiology, 10: 178-192.

Edwards, KJ, CG Wheat & JB Sylvan. 2011. Under the sea: life in volcanic oceanic crust. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 9: 703-712.

Orcutt, BN, JB Sylvan, N Knab & KJ Edwards. 2011. Microbial ecology of the dark ocean above, at, and below the seafloor. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews, 75(2): 361-422.

Kaye, JZ, JB Sylvan, KJ Edwards, and JA Baross. 2011. Halomonas and Marinobacter ecotypes from hydrothermal-vent, subseafloor and deep-sea environments. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 75: 123-133.


Oil Spill Microbial Ecology

Quigg, A, U Passow, W-C Chin, C Xu, S Doyle, L Bretherton, M Kamalanathan, AK Williams, JB Sylvan, Z Finkel, AH Knap, KA Schwehr, S Zhang, L Sun, TL Wade, W Obeid, PG Hatcher, & PH Santschi. 2016. The role of microbial exopolymers in determining the fate of oil and chemical dispersants in the ocean. Limnology and Oceanography Letters, 1: 3-26.


Gulf of Mexico Science

Sylvan, JB and JW Ammerman. 2013. Seasonal distributions of organic nutrients on the Louisiana and their implications for nutrient limitation and hypoxia formation. Marine Chemistry, 154: 113-123.

Quigg, A, JB Sylvan, AB Gustafson, TR Fisher, RL Oliver, S Tozzi and JW Ammerman. 2011. Going west: role of phosphorus limitation in expanding primary production across the Louisiana shelf. Aquatic Geochemistry, 17: 519-544.

Sylvan, JB, Q Dortch, DM Nelson, AF Maier Brown, W Morrison & JW Ammerman. 2006. Phosphorus limits phytoplankton growth on the Louisiana shelf during the period of hypoxia formation. Environmental Science and Technology, 40(24): 7548-7553.


Ph. D., January 2008, Rutgers University, Biological Oceanography, New Brunswick

M. Sc., 2004, Rutgers University, Biological Oceanography, New Brunswick, NJ

B. Sc., 1999, Brandeis University, Biology, Waltham, Massachusetts 


2016 Kavli Fellow

2016-2017 IODP Ocean Discovery Lecturer

Additional Information


Assistant Professor - 2015-present, Dep't of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Assistant Professor (Research) - 2013-2015, Dep't of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Postdoctoral Fellow - 2008-2013, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

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