Professor, Oceanography

Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth
Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures


206 221 6748 (office), 206 221 6752 (lab)


Anitra Ingalls

I am a biogeochemist and my lab group aims to learn how the chemical signatures of microorganisms can tell us about the function of the marine microbial community. We are organic chemists, biochemists and biologists and we are applying the tools of metabolomics, lipidomics and proteomics to understand the role of microbial physiology and interactions in global elemental cycles. With a mix of fieldwork and lab studies, we work in diverse environments across the globe. Support for my research comes from the National Science Foundation as well as private foundations and industry. I founded the Microbial Metabolomics Research Center (MMRC) in 2013 to make the tool of metabolomics available to UW researchers studying environmentally relevant microbes. We collaborate on several projects across campus.

My current research projects include:

  1. Metabolomics as a tool to understand diversity among marine microbial lineages.
  2. Elucidating organic substrates that fuel microbial respiration and interactions over diel cycles, across ocean gradients and in mesoscale features.
  3. Microbial production, exchange and recycling of B vitamins in the ocean.
  4. Using metabolomics and proteomics to elucidate metabolisms of cultivated marine microbes.
  5. Ecophysiology of ammonia oxidizing archaea.
  6. Membrane lipids of archaea and bacteria as tracers of ocean processes.
  7. Radiocarbon dating as a tool to understand carbon cycle and past Antarctic climate.

Current Students:

Selected Publications:

Heal, K.R., Maloney A.E., Ingalls A.E., Bundy, R. 2021.  Diverse arsenic-containing lipids in the surface ocean. L&O Letters. 

Biller S.J., Lundeen R.A., Hmelo L.R., Becker K.W., Arellano A., Dooley K., Carlson L.T., Heal K.R., Van Mooy B.A.S., Ingalls A.E., Chisholm S. 2021. Prochlorococcus extracellular vesicles: molecular composition and adsorption to diverse microbes. Environmental Microbiology.

Muratore D., Boysen A.K., Harke M.J., Becker K.W., Casey J.R., Coesel S.N., Mende D.R., Wilson S.T., Aylward F.O., Eppley J., Visolova A., Peng S., Rodriguez-Gonzalez R. A., Beckett S.J., Armbrust E.V., DeLong E.F., Karl D.M., White A.E., Zehr J.P., Van Mooy B.A.S., Dyhrman S.T., Ingalls A.E., Weitz J.S.  2021. Complex marine microbial communities partition metabolism of scarce resources over the diel cycle. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 2021. 10.1038/s41559-021-01606-w.

Li F., Leu A., Poff K., Carlson L.T., Ingalls A.E., DeLong E.F. 2021. Planktonic archaeal ether lipid origins in surface waters of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Environmental Microbiology.

Heal K.R., Durham, B.P., Boysen A.K., Carlson L.T., Qin W., Ribalet F., White A.E., Bundy R.M., Armbrust E.V., Ingalls A.E. 2021. Marine community metabolomes carry fingerprints of phytoplankton community composition. mSystems. DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.01334-20.

Boysen A.K., Carlson L.T., Durham B.P., Groussman R.D., Aylward F.O., Ribalet F., Heal K.R., DeLong E.F., Armbrust E.V., Ingalls A.E., 2021. Daily oscillations of particulate metabolites reflect synchronized microbial activity in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. mSystems, DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.00896-20.

Dawson H.M., Heal K.R., Torstensson A., Carlson L.T., Ingalls A.E., Young J.N. 2020. Large diversity in nitrogen and sulfur containing compatible solute profiles in polar and temperate diatoms. Integrative and Comparative Biology. doi:10.1093/icb/icaa133.

Recent News Posts