Megan Michelle Morris

Postdoctoral Researcher
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division
Phone: +19254244187


  • PhD, Ecology, Joint Doctoral Program with The University of California Davis and San Diego State University, 2018
  • BS, Biology, San Diego State University, 2011

Research Interests

Microbes are found associated with every macro-organism across all biomes studied to date. While microbes are abundant, their cryptic nature often makes it difficult to elucidate the mechanisms behind microbe–macro-organism interactions and the resulting effects on ecosystem functioning. As such, through my research I hope to increase our understanding of microbial community dynamics with host and ecosystem health, specifically investigating microbe-microbe interactions and microbe-host relationships. In my research I use a variety of molecular techniques, including ‘omics-based, with the goal of linking microbial community structure with ecological function.

Honors and Awards

  • Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST) Grant Development Program, 2018
  • Outstanding Teaching Associate for the Department of Biology at San Diego State University, 2018
  • Sharkbait Scholarship, 2018
  • SDSU Doctoral Research Grant, 2017-2018
  • ARCS Fellowship, 2017
  • President’s Award for Best Student Presentation at the SDSU Student Research Symposium, 2016
  • Inamori Fellowship, 2015
  • California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) Student Travel Grant, 2015
  • COAST Graduate Student Research Grant, 2014
  • COAST Student Travel Grant, 2014
  • Women’s Environmental Council Fellowship, 2013
  • Jordan D. Covin Memorial Fellowship, 2013–2015
  • Harold and June Grant Memorial Scholarship, 2013–2017

Selected Publications

L Lima, M. Weissman, M. Reed, B. Papudeshi, AT Alker, MM Morris, RA Edwards, SJ de Putron, NK Vaidya, and EA Dinsdale. 2020. Modeling of the coral microbiome: the influence of temperature and microbial network. mBio.

MM Morris, NJ Frixione, AC Burkert, EA Dinsdale, and RL Vannette. 2020. Microbial abundance, composition, and function in nectar are shaped by flower visitor identity. FEMS Microbiology Ecology.

S Johri, S Fellows, J Solanki, A Busch, I Livingston, MF Mora, A Tiwari, A Goodman, A Cantu, MP Doane, M Morris, RA Edwards, and EA Dinsdale. 2020. Mitochondrial genome to aid species delimitation and effective conservation of the Sharpnose Guitarfish (Glaucostegus granulatus). Meta Gene, 100648.

RA Edwards, AA Vega, HM Norman, … MM Morris, … et al. 2019. Global phylogeography and ancient evolution of the widespread human gut virus crAssphage. Nature Microbiology 4 (10), 1727–1736.

GS Cavalcanti, P Shukla, M Morris, B Ribeiro, M Foley, MP Doane, CC Thompson, MS Edwards, EA Dinsdale, and FL Thompson. 2018. Rhodoliths holobionts in a changing ocean: host-microbes interactions mediate coralline algae resilience under ocean acidification. BMC Genomics 19 (1), 1–13.

JJ Minich, MM Morris, M Brown, M Doane, MS Edwards, TP Michael, and EA Dinsdale. 2018. Elevated temperature drives kelp microbiome dysbiosis, while elevated carbon dioxide induces water microbiome disruption. PloS One 13 (2).

B Papudeshi, JM Haggerty, M Doane, MM Morris, K Walsh, DT Beattie, D Pande, P Zaeri, GGZ Silva, F Thompson, RA Edwards, and EA Dinsdale. 2017. Optimizing and evaluating the reconstruction of metagenome-assembled microbial genomes. BMC Genomics 18 (1), 915.

K Walsh, JM Haggerty, MP Doane, JJ Hansen, MM Morris, APB Moreira, L de Oliveira, L Leomil, G Garcia, FL Thompson, and EA Dinsdale. 2017. Aura-biomes are present in the water layer above coral reef benthic macro-organisms. PeerJ 5, e3666.

MM Morris, JM Haggerty, BN Papudeshi, AA Vega, MS Edwards, and EA Dinsdale. 2016. Nearshore pelagic microbial community abundance affects recruitment success of giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera. Frontiers in Microbiology 7, 1800.