People

Catherine Pfister, PhD

My research in ecology has focused on the dynamics of species in marine systems and the role they play at ecosystems scales. Two recurring themes in my research are the implications of species interactions for community and ecosystem dynamics, and the contribution of climate change to species dynamics. My interests can be broadly grouped into four areas: (1) the interplay between species and productivity in coastal marine ecosystems, (2) the implications of ocean acidification in coastal marine ecosystems, (3) identifying the causes and consequences of variability in marine populations and (4) understanding the relative impacts of genetic and demographic factors to extinction risk.



I train PhD students who are interested in testing ecological and evolutionary concepts and pursuing new discoveries in marine ecosystems. Students in my lab have used a diversity of methods in their work, including mathematical models, genetics and -omics, biogeochemistry, and microscopy. There is a diverse group of faculty across multiple departments whose work is related to the ecology of the oceans, and the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole is our affiliate.

University of Washington
Seattle
PhD - Zoology
1993

University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill
MS - Marine Sciences
1987

University of Illinois
Champaign-Urbana
BS - Biology
1984

Spatial organization of the kelp microbiome at micron scales.
Ramírez-Puebla ST, Weigel BL, Jack L, Schlundt C, Pfister CA, Mark Welch JL. Spatial organization of the kelp microbiome at micron scales. Microbiome. 2022 Mar 24; 10(1):52.
PMID: 35331334

Conceptual Exchanges for Understanding Free-Living and Host-Associated Microbiomes.
Pfister CA, Light SH, Bohannan B, Schmidt T, Martiny A, Hynson NA, Devkota S, David L, Whiteson K. Conceptual Exchanges for Understanding Free-Living and Host-Associated Microbiomes. mSystems. 2022 Feb 22; 7(1):e0137421.
PMID: 35014872

Differential impacts of alternate primary producers on carbon cycling.
Miranda KK, Weigel BL, McCoy SJ, Pfister CA. Differential impacts of alternate primary producers on carbon cycling. Ecology. 2021 09; 102(9):e03455.
PMID: 34166524

Magnitude and Predictability of pH Fluctuations Shape Plastic Responses to Ocean Acidification.
Bitter MC, Kapsenberg L, Silliman K, Gattuso JP, Pfister CA. Magnitude and Predictability of pH Fluctuations Shape Plastic Responses to Ocean Acidification. Am Nat. 2021 04; 197(4):486-501.
PMID: 33755541

The dynamics and stoichiometry of dissolved organic carbon release by kelp.
Weigel BL, Pfister CA. The dynamics and stoichiometry of dissolved organic carbon release by kelp. Ecology. 2021 02; 102(2):e03221.
PMID: 33048348

Oxygen metabolism shapes microbial settlement on photosynthetic kelp blades compared to artificial kelp substrates.
Weigel BL, Pfister CA. Oxygen metabolism shapes microbial settlement on photosynthetic kelp blades compared to artificial kelp substrates. Environ Microbiol Rep. 2021 04; 13(2):176-184.
PMID: 33372322

The dynamics and stoichiometry of dissolved organic carbon release by kelp.
Weigel BL, Pfister CA. The dynamics and stoichiometry of dissolved organic carbon release by kelp. Ecology. 2020 Oct 13; e03221.
PMID: 33048348

The emergence of microbiome centres.
Martiny JBH, Whiteson KL, Bohannan BJM, David LA, Hynson NA, McFall-Ngai M, Rawls JF, Schmidt TM, Abdo Z, Blaser MJ, Bordenstein S, Bréchot C, Bull CT, Dorrestein P, Eisen JA, Garcia-Pichel F, Gilbert J, Hofmockel KS, Holtz ML, Knight R, Mark Welch DB, McDonald D, Methé B, Mouncey NJ, Mueller NT, Pfister CA, Proctor L, Sachs JL. The emergence of microbiome centres. Nat Microbiol. 2020 01; 5(1):2-3.
PMID: 31857734

Standing genetic variation fuels rapid adaptation to ocean acidification.
Bitter MC, Kapsenberg L, Gattuso JP, Pfister CA. Standing genetic variation fuels rapid adaptation to ocean acidification. Nat Commun. 2019 12 20; 10(1):5821.
PMID: 31862880

Early succession on slag compared to urban soil: A slower recovery.
Zou HX, Anastasio AE, Pfister CA. Early succession on slag compared to urban soil: A slower recovery. PLoS One. 2019; 14(12):e0224214.
PMID: 31856201

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Frances Straus Mentorship Award
University of Chicago
2018

Miller Postdoctoral Fellow
University of California at Berkeley
1993 - 1995