Dr. Sullivan’s research aims to quantitatively explore the roles of microbial viruses in global ocean biogeochemical cycling, thawing permafrosts and humans. As a PhD and post-doctoral trainee, he helped pioneer the use of genome-enabled model-systems-based experimentation, which revealed that cyanobacterial phages often contain host photosynthesis genes that are expressed during infection and act as a diversity generator for their numerically dominant, globally distributed photosynthetic hosts. As a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Investigator, he has helped lay the foundation for modern, quantitative viral ecology. Specifically, he has helped develop a quantitative viral metagenomic sample-to-sequence pipeline and community-available informatics platforms to analyze such data, significantly expanded our understanding of the global virosphere through illuminating “viral dark matter,” and developed numerous experimental and informatic approaches to link and explore virus-host interactions. Dr. Sullivan has been recognized as a Kavli Frontiers in Science Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow, and a Beckman Foundation undergraduate and post-doctoral mentor.
PhD, Biology, Massachusettes Institute of Technology
MPhil, Biology, Queens University of Belfast, Northern Ireland
BS, Marine Science, Long Island University