Matthew Saxton

Matt Saxton

Assistant Professor

111 Levey Hall, Middletown Campus

Biographical Inforamtion 

The rapidly increasing global population is putting significant strain on the world’s freshwater, estuarine and coastal resources. This pressure is manifested not only though direct usage as drinking water or in agricultural and industrial applications, but also through the amplified burden from human-associated pollution and waterway manipulation. The Saxton lab is focused on how microbial community dynamics and activity are influenced by the above factors and how affected microbial communities impact important environmental issues, such as eutrophication, harmful algal bloom formation, hypoxia, and climate change. Our approach is to pair field and lab-based measures of bacterial and viral diversity, activity and abundance with geochemical data and process rate measurements to discover the factors shaping these important ecological processes. We follow these discoveries with further study of the biogeochemistry and genetic basis of the process, describing the pathways, organisms and genes involved.


Ph.D., University of Tennessee, 2011

Current research

  • Geochemistry and microbial communities present in wet stormwater retention basins.
  • Diversity and activity of microbial communities in agricultural runoff.
  • Impact of agriculturally sourced chemicals on cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms.
  • Ecology of sulfur oxidizing bacteria.

Selected Publications

  • Rogener, M. K., Bracco, A., Hunter, K. S., Saxton, M. A., & Joye, S. B. (2018). Long-term impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout on methane oxidation dynamics in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Elem Sci Anth, 6(1).
  • Green, J. C., Rahman, F., Saxton, M. A., & Williamson, K. E. (2018). Quantifying aquatic viral community change associated with stormwater runoff in a wet retention pond using metagenomic time series data. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 81(1), 19-35.
  • Saxton, M. A., Samarkin, V. A., Schutte, C. A., Bowles, M. W., Madigan, M. T., Cadieux, S. B., Pratt, L.M., & Joye, S. B. (2016). Biogeochemical and 16S rRNA gene sequence evidence supports a novel mode of anaerobic methanotrophy in permanently ice‐covered Lake Fryxell, Antarctica. Limnology and Oceanography, 61(S1), S119-S130.
  • Saxton, M. A., Naqvi, N. S., Rahman, F., Thompson, C. P., Chambers, R. M., Kaste, J. M., & Williamson, K. E. (2016). Site-specific environmental factors control bacterial and viral diversity in stormwater retention ponds. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 77(1), 23-36.