Alexander Chase

Assistant Professor





Educational Background

University of California - Irvine (UCI), PhD

University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA), BSc



BIOL/GEOL3307 - Ecology

GEOL1315 - Introduction to Environmental Science


Research Interests

- Human and Environmental Microbiomes

- Chemical Ecology

- Microbial Biogeography


Research Summary

Dr. Chase's research interests lie in understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape patterns of microbial diversity and distributions. Our research aims to explore the intricate interplay between ecology and evolution in order to identify the mechanisms facilitating microbial adaptation to environmental change and elucidate how these responses will impact broader biogeochemical processes. We employ an integrative approach, combining field and laboratory experiments with cutting-edge 'omic technologies, to investigate the traits contributing to observed biogeographic patterns. One recent focal point of Dr. Chase's work revolves around deciphering the key traits that mediate species interactions within microbial communities. In particular, we focus on studying the production of specialized metabolites and examining how various environmental triggers can elicit compound production within complex microbiomes. Of special interest is the potential of these small molecule natural products to be utilized for their pharmaceutical properties. Our laboratory integrates ecological and evolutionary perspectives to comprehend the biogeographic distributions of these metabolites, thereby facilitating targeted discovery efforts.


Select Recent Publications

AB Chase, A Bogdanov, AM Demko, PR Jensen. 2023. Biogeographic patterns of biosynthetic potential and specialized metabolites in marine sediments. The ISME Journal. DOI: 10.1038/s41396-023-01410-3

JBH Martiny, AC Martiny, EL Brodie, AB Chase, A Rodriguez-Verdugo, KK Treseder, SD Allison. 2023. Investigating the eco-evolutionary response of microbiomes to environmental change. Ecology Letters. DOI: 10.1111/ele.14209

AB Chase, D Sweeney, MN Muskat, D Guillén-Matus, PR Jensen. 2021. Vertical inheritance facilitates interspecies diversification in biosynthetic gene clusters and specialized metabolites. mBio. DOI: 10.1128/mBio.02700-21

AB Chase, C Weihe, JBH Martiny. 2021. Adaptive differentiation and rapid evolution of a soil bacterium along a climate gradient. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2101254118

Alexander Chase portrait