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Profile Page

Bethany Jenkins
Assoc. Professor of Oceanography
279 CBLS, Kingston

Educational Background

Ph.D., Chemistry
B.A., Biochemistry
University of Oregon
Mount Holyoke College

Areas of Specialization


The research in the Jenkins lab is focused on understanding the interplay between the genetically encoded biochemical potential of marine microbes, the physicochemical properties of the environment and how these factors come together to ultimately determine community composition. Specific research questions address the molecular diversity of nutrient aquisition strategies in bacteria and phytoplankton and the comparative physiology of trace metal uptake systems in diatoms. We address these questions in both field and laboratory experiments using molecular biological and comparative genomics techniques.


Introductory Microbiology (MIC 211), Advanced Microbiology with Lab (MIC 414, 416), Data Analysis and Communication in Oceanography (OCG 593), Practical Tools for Advanced Sequence Analysis (MIC 550)


Partnership with the Girl Scouts of RI.


Selected Publications (* indicates URI students and postdocs as co-authors)

Dyhrman, S.T., Jenkins B.D., Rynearson, T.A., Saito, M.A, Mercier, M.L.*, Alexander H., Whitney, L.P*.,Drzewianowski A., Bulgin, V.V., Bertrand, E.M., Wu, Z., Benitez-Nelson, C., Heithoff, A., The Transcriptome and Proteome of the Diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana Reveal a Diverse Phosphorus Stress Response, PLOS One 7 (3) 2012.

Whitney, L.P.*, Lins, J.J., Hughes, M.P., Wells, M.L., Chappell, P.D.*, and Whitney, L.P., Lins, J.J., Hughes, M.P., Wells, M.L., Chappell, P.D., and Jenkins, B.D. (2011). Characterization of putative iron responsive genes as species-specific indicators of iron stress in Thalassiosiroid diatoms. Frontiers in Aquatic Microbiology 25 November. (2011). Characterization of putative iron responsive genes as species-specific indicators of iron stress in Thalassiosiroid diatoms. Frontiers in Aquatic Microbiology 25 November. 

Wu, Z., Jenkins, B.D., Rynearson, T.A., Dyhrman, S.T., Saito, M.A., Mercier, M.* & Whitney, L. P.* Empirical Bayes Analysis of Sequencing-based Transcriptional Profiling. BMC Bioinformatics 2010 Nov 16;11(1):564 (0).

Kudela, R.M., Howard, M.D.A., Jenkins, B.D., Miller, P.E. and Smith, G.J. Using the Molecular Toolbox to Compare Harmful Algal Blooms in Upwelling Systems. Progress in Oceanography 85 (1-2) 108-121 (2010) (1).

Paerl, R.W., Foster, R.A., Jenkins, B.D., Montoya, J.P. and Zehr, J.P. Phylogenetic diversity of cyanobacterial narB genes from various marine habitats. Environ. Microbiol. 10 (12) 3377-3387 (2008) (3).

Bowler, C., et al (including Jenkins, B.D) The Phaeodactylum genome reveals the evolutionary history of diatom genomes. Nature 456 (7219): 239-234 (2008) (167).

Jenkins, B.D. and Zehr, J.P., (2008). Molecular Approaches to the Nitrogen Cycle. In. Nitrogen in the Marine Environment, Capone, D.G., Bronk, D.A., Mulholland, M.R. and Carpenter, E.J. (Editors). Elsevier, Oxford, UK.


Selected Presentations (* indicates URI students and postdocs as co-authors

Brown, S. M.*, Jones, A.*, Ehrlich, A.*, Deacutis, C., Jenkins, B. D. Hypoxia in Narragansett Bay: A Driver for a Hidden Nitrogen Positive Feedback Loop?: Part II The Genetic Evidence. Talk. New England Estuarine Research Society. Plymouth, Massachusetts. April 2012. Ketchum Award for Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation

Chappell, P.D*., Darer, A.*, Whitney. L.P.*, Haddock, T.L*., Lins, J.J.* and Jenkins B.D. Combining fragment analysis and qRT-PCR to evaluate iron limitation of Thalassiosirids in the eastern subarctic Pacific Ocean Chemical Oceanography Gordon Conference (2011).

Jenkins, B.D., Brown, S.M.*, Fulweiler, R.W., Nixon, S.W. Combined Molecular And Biogeochemical Methods To Decipher The Controls On Nitrogen Cycling Consortia In Estuarine Sediments  ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, San Juan Puerto Rico (2011).

Whitney, L. P.*, Mercier, M.*, Dyhrman, S. T., Saito, M. A.; Rynearson, T. A., Jenkins, B. D., Response To Iron Limitation In The Marine Diatom Thalassiosira Pseudonana Revealed By Global Transcriptomic Analysis Ocean ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, San Juan Puerto Rico (2011).

Brown, S.M.*, Tahmassian, A.*, Spinette, R*., Fulweiler, R.W., Nixon, S.W., Jenkins, B.D. Elucidating Controls on the Active Players that Drive Nitrogen Fixation and Denitrification in Estuarine Sediments. Poster. International Society for Microbial Ecology. Seattle, Washington (2010). ISME Early Career Researcher Poster Award to S. Brown



Member for
6 years 23 weeks