Earth Institute Staff Directory

Sonya Dyhrman

Professor , Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DEES) , Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) , The Earth Institute


BIOGRAPHY: Sonya Dyhrman is a professor of earth and environmental sciences at Columbia University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Dyhrman graduated with high honors in biology from Dartmouth College and received her Ph.D. in marine biology from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She did her postdoctoral training at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), where she was a tenured member of the scientific staff until 2014. She was previously awarded an Ocean Life Institute Fellowship to support the development of new molecular tools to track the physiology of ocean microbes. In 2007, she was a Marie Tharp Fellow of the Columbia University Earth Institute, working on ocean acidification. More recently, she was a Sir Allan Sewell Fellow of Australia’s Griffith University, working on toxin-producing cyanobacteria. Dyhrman also served on the scientific steering committee for the U.S. Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Program.

Her research leverages molecular tools to study the physiological ecology of cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae and their role in shaping marine ecosystem structure, function and biogeochemistry. In addition to her research efforts, Dyhrman developed ocean science literacy activities for classrooms and the virtual world Whyville, giving more than one million children exposure to ocean literacy standards and the process of scientific discovery.