Joan M. Bernhard

Research Interests 

  • Benthic foraminiferal ecology and paleoecology
  • Biogeochemistry of redox boundary sediments in both modern and ancient environments
  • Microaerophilic and anaerobic protists from Oxygen Minimum Zones and methane and cold seeps
  • Protistan-prokaryote symbioses
  • Culturing of deep-sea benthic foraminifera to ground truth paleoceanographic proxies
  • Microbial communities of laminated sediments
  • Sub-millimeter life positions of microorganisms in sediments
  • Application of various microscopic techniques (TEM, SEM, LSCM) to marine microbial ecology
  • Impact of ocean acidification and hypoxia on benthic foraminifera


  • Robert W. Morse Chair for Excellence in Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (2012-2016)
  • W. Storrs Cole Memorial Research Award, Geological Society of America (2003)
  • Prix International Paul Broennimann 1995 Competition "Prix Extraordinaire"
  • Fulbright Fellow; University of Oslo, Norway (1992-1993)
  • Surdna Foundation Scholarship, Marine Ecology Course; Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole (1991)
  • Joseph Cushman Student Research Grant; Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research (1985)

Contact Information
Senior Scientist
Geology and Geophysics Department
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543