7fcde7 square The Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, SOEST
Matthew J. Church

Associate Professor

Department of Oceanography, 
University of Hawai`i at Manoa, 
1000 Pope Road, 
Marine Sciences Building, 
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: (808) 956-8779 
Fax: (808) 956-8668

E-mail: mjchurch@hawaii.edu


Curriculum Vitae


2003    The College of William and Mary, Ph.D., Marine Science
1999    The College of William and Mary, M.Sc., Marine Science
1994    The Evergreen State College, B.Sc.


2007 Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii
2004-2007 Assistant Researcher, University of Hawaii
2003-2004 Postgraduate Research Scientist, University of California Santa Cruz
1996-2002 Graduate Research Assistant, The College of William and Mary, School of Marine Science


Research Interests: The research of our group focuses on understanding how microorganisms catalyze elemental cycling in aquatic systems.  A major component of this research involves identifying the types of microorganisms responsible for biogeochemically important processes and studying those processes that control the metabolic activities of these microbes.  Our research group uses a variety of tools to study the dynamics of microbial communities, including rate measurements of microbial metabolisms and genetic approaches to study the diversity and activities of microorganisms in nature.

Current Projects:

  • Collaborative: Biology and Ecology of Newly Discovered Diazotrophs in the Open Ocean”.  NSF.  PIs: J. Zehr, M. Church, J. Montoya
  • Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE)”.  NSF.  PIs: D. Karl, S. Chisholm, E. DeLong, J. Zehr
  • Microbial Oceanography: Genomes to Biomes”.  Summer course at University of Hawaii.  The Agouron Institute.  P.I.s: D. Karl, M. Church, E. DeLong, and M. Rappé, G. Steward

Student Mentoring:

  • Binglin Li, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii (Ph.D. candidate, co-advised with D. Karl (UH).
  • Donn Viviani, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii (Ph.D. candidate) co-advised with D. Karl (UH).
  • Brenner Wai, Global Environmental Studies major, University of Hawaii

Former Students and Post-docs:  

  • Dr. Jennifer Edmonds-former post-doc; now faculty at the University of Alabama.
  • Allison Fong, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii (M.S. degree received 2006).


  • OCN 626- Marine Microplankton Ecology”-Lead Instructor; Fall 2006-present
  •  “Microbial Oceanography: Genomes to Biomes” Lead Instructor; course funded by the Agouron Institute; Summer 2006-present
  • OCN 750: “Topics in Biological Oceanography: Biogeochemical variability in the North Pacific Ocean” Sole Instructor; Spring 2008
  • OCN 780-Coordinator Fall 2008 Department of Oceanography Seminar Series
  • OCN 621 “Biological Oceanography” Lead Instructor, Spring 2009-

Selected Publications:

Church, M.J., D. A. Hutchins, and H.W. Ducklow.  2000.  The limitation of bacterial growth by dissolved organic matter and iron in the Southern OceanApplied and Environmental Microbiology 66:  455-466

Church, M.J., H.W. Ducklow, and D.M. Karl.  2002.  Multiyear increases in dissolved organic matter inventories a Station ALOHA in the North Pacific Subtropical GyreLimnology and Oceanography 47:1-10.

Church, M.J., E.F. DeLong, H.W. Ducklow, M.B. Karner, C.M. Preston, and D.M. Karl. 2003.  Abundance and distributions of planktonic Archaea and Bacteria in the waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula.  Limnology and Oceanography 48: 1893-1902.

Church, M.J., H.W. Ducklow, D.M. Karl.  2004. Light dependence of 3H-leucine incorporation in the oligotrophic North Pacific Ocean.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology 70: 4079-4087.

Church, M.J., C.M. Short, B.D. Jenkins, D.M. Karl, and J.P. Zehr.   2005.  Temporal patterns of nitrogenase (nifH) gene expression in the oligotrophic North Pacific Ocean.  Applied Environmental Microbiology 71: 5362-5370.

Church, M.J., H.W. Ducklow, R.M. Letelier, and D.M. Karl.  2006.  Temporal dynamics in heterotrophic picoplankton productivity in the subtropical North Pacific Ocean.  Aquatic Microbial Ecology 45: 41-53.

Corno, G., D.M. Karl, M.J. Church, R.M. Letelier, R. Lukas, and M.R. Abbott.   2007.  The impact of climate forcing on ecosystem processes in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.  Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans 112: doi:10.1029/2006JC003730.

Dore, J.D., R.M. Letelier, M.J. Church, R. Lukas, and D.M. Karl.  2008.  Summer phytoplankton blooms in the oligotrophic North Pacific Subtropical Gyre: Historicalperspective and recent observationsProgress in Oceanography 76: 2-38.

Church, M.J., K.M.Björkman., D.M. Karl, M.A. Saito, and J.P. Zehr. 2008.  Regional distributions of nitrogen fixing bacteria in the Pacific Ocean.  Limnology and Oceanography 53: 63-77.

Fong, A.A., D.M. Karl, R. Lukas, R.M. Letelier, J.P. Zehr, M.J. Church.  2008.  Nitrogen fixation in an anticyclonic eddy in the oligotrophic North Pacific Ocean.  ISME Journal 2: 663-676.

Church, M.J. 2008.  Resource control of bacterial dynamics in the sea.  In Microbial Ecology of the Oceans, [ed] D.L. Kirchman. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New Jersey.

Karl, D.M., L. Beversdorf, K.M. Björkman, M.J. Church, A. Martinez, E.F. DeLong.  2008.
Aerobic production of methane in the seaNature Geoscience 1: 473-478.