Michael Henson

Research Interests

Aquatic environments are ecologically diverse, economically important ecosystems undergoing rapid environmental change such as salinization, pollution, temperature rise and eutrophication. These changes threaten the essential services they provide, such as habitat, climatic regulation and infrastructure. The Aquatic Microbiology Lab's research focuses on microbes, tiny but powerful organisms that act as "first responders" to environmental change. Disturbances, whether natural or human-induced, can have significant impacts on microbial communities that can alter biogeochemical cycling processes, leading to imbalances in nutrient availability. We combine traditional lab-based experiments with field-based observations to dive into the numerous ways microbes influence ecosystem health by investigating the relationships between microbial diversity, community dynamics, and ecosystem processes. Collectively, the Aquatic Microbiology Lab's work will contribute to improved modeling of future environmental disturbances and the preservation, restoration and sustainable management of aquatic environments.

Fields of Interest

  • Aquatic microbiology
  • Microbial genomics
  • Microbial physiology
  • Molecular biology
  • Microbial ecology
  • Computation biology


Students interested in aquatic ecology, water quality or microbial ecology/physiology/genomics are encouraged to check out the Aquatic Microbiology Lab's website. Our lab studies microorganisms using field- and lab-based tools to understand the numerous ways microbes influence ecosystem health.

Representative Publications

For the most recent list of publications, please see my Google Scholar page.


Michael Henson
Assistant Professor
MO 452 (office)
MO 312 (lab)

Curriculum Vitae (DOCX)

Google Scholar page

Aquatic Microbiology Lab website