Dr Anne Jungblut

Image of Anne D. Jungblut
  • Researcher, Botanical Diversity
  • Life Sciences department
  • Genomics and Microbial Biodiversity Division
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Employment history

Researcher in Botanical Biodiversity, The Natural History Museum, London, 2009

Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Northern Studies (CEN), Laval University, Canada, 2007-2009

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 2006

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany, 1998-2001




PhD, Microbiology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 2003-2007

Diplom (M.Sc.), Biological Sciences, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany, 1995-2002

Professional Roles

Awards and Grants

Antarctic Science Bursary (2013)

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Research Grant (2012)

SynTax grant  (2012)

Royal Society Research Grant (2011)

DAIWA Foundation Small Grant (2011)

British Phycological Society Project Award (2011)

ASLO Early Career Research Grant (2011)

NASA Astrobiology Institute Award (2008)


Professional Roles and Responsibilities

Council member, British Phycological Society (since 2013)

Associate Editor, European Journal of Phycology (since 2010)


Research Interests

  • Cyanobacterial diversity & ecology
  • Polar cyanobacteria 
  • Cyanobacteria-dominated microbial mats 
  • Bloom-forming and toxin-producing cyanobacteria
Arctic Dichothrix sp.

Dichothrix sp., Ward Hunt Lake, High Arctic, Canada © Anne D. Jungblut

Cyanobacterial diversity and ecology in polar aquatic ecosystems

Cyanobacteria often dominate primary productivity and contribute most of the total biomass in terrestrial aquatic ecosystems of the Polar Regions, as they are able to withstand persistent low temperatures, repeated freeze-thaw cycles, and highly variable light, nutrient and osmotic regimes. To improve our understanding of diversity, community structure and biogeography of cyanobacteria that thrive in such environments, I investigate High Arctic and Antarctic cyanobacterial assemblages using environmental 16S rRNA gene surveys, culturing, and phylogenetic and morphological analyses. This project was part of the International Polar Year Programme MERGE.

This project is in collaboration with Warwick F. Vincent (Centre for Northern Studies (CEN) & Laval University, Canada) and Connie Lovejoy (QuébecOcean & Laval University, Canada).

Markham Ice Shelf, High Arctic

Sampling of microbial mats on Markham Ice Shelf, High Arctic, Canada. © Warwick F. Vincent, Centre for Northern Studies (CEN)


Microbial diversity of cyanobacteria-dominated microbial mats

Cyanobacterial assemblages form benthic mats and films at the bottom of Arctic and Antarctic lakes, streams and ponds of polar ice shelves. Cyanobacterial mats are complex and often multilayered three-dimensional structures with filamentous, exopolymer-producing cyanobacteria being the most common cyanobacterial taxa. They can overcome nutrient depleted conditions via internal nutrient recycling and scavenging systems and therefore proliferate despite the nutrient-poor conditions in the overlying water column that are characteristic of polar aquatic ecosystems. They also contain diverse microbial communities including microbial eukaryotes, however little is known about them. Therefore, I am interested in the microbial diversity of these unique consortia, and the genetic bases for nutrient cycling mechanisms to withstand the harsh conditions of the cryosphere.

The project involves collaborations with Warwick F. Vincent (Centre for Northern Studies (CEN) & Laval University, Canada) and Connie Lovejoy (QuébecOcean & Laval University, Canada), Jacques Corbeil (Laval University, Canada), Brett A. Neilan and Brendan P. Burns (University of New South Wales, Australia).

Cyanobacterial bloom

Cyanobacterial bloom © Anne D. Jungblut


Bloom-forming and toxin-producing cyanobacteria

Cyanobacteria are well known for the formation of blue-green algae blooms and production of toxins. Therefore it is of great interest to study and characterize  the phylogenetics of toxin-producing cyanobacteria and genes involved in toxin production.

The project involves collaborations with Brett A. Neilan (University of New South Wales, Australia) and Lenora N.L. Gomes (University of Minas Gerais, Brazil).


MSc Student

Lu Zhang, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany, "Vertical distribution of benthic cyanobacterial communities in ice-covered lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica".


  • Hawes, I., Sumner , D.Y., Andersen, D.T., Jungblut, A.D., Mackey T.J. ( 2013 ) Timescales of growth response of microbial mats to environmental change in an ice-covered Antarctic lake Biology 2 : 151-176. . Biology
  • Martineau, E., Wood, S.A., Miller, M.R., Jungblut, A.D., Hawes, I., Webster-Brown, J., Packer M.A. ( 2013 ) Characterisation of Antarctic cyanobacteria and comparison with New Zealand strains Hydrobiologia first published online March 2013 : .
  • Abramovich Sorek, R., Pomati, F., Jungblut, A.D., Guglielmin, M., Neilan, B.A. ( 2012 ) T-RFLP Fingerprinting Analysis of Bacterial Communities in Debris Cones, Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 23 : 224-248 . DOI: 10.1002/ppp.1749
  • Blais, M., Tremblay, J.-E., Jungblut, A.D., Gagnon, J., Martin, M., Thaler, M., Lovejoy, C. ( 2012 ) Nitrogen fixation and identification of potential diazotrophs in the Canadian Arctic Global Biogeochemical Cycles 26 : Epub. . doi:10.1029/2011GB004096
  • Jungblut, A.D., Vincent, W.F., Lovejoy, C. ( 2012 ) Eukaryotes in Arctic and Antarctic cyanobacterial mats FEMS Microbiology Ecology 82 : 416-28. . doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2012.01418.x.
  • Jungblut, A.D., Wood, S.A., Hawes, I., Webster-Brown, J., Harris, C. ( 2012 ) The Pyramid Trough Wetland: environmental and biological diversity in a newly created Antarctic protected area FEMS Microbiology Ecology 82 : 356-366. . DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2012.01380.x
  • Varin, T., Lovejoy, C., Jungblut, A.D., Vincent, W.F. ( 2012 ) Metagenomic analysis of stress genes in microbial mat communities from Antarctica and the High Arctic. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78 : 549-559 . doi:10.1128/AEM.06354-11
  • Harding, T., Jungblut, A.D., Lovejoy, C., Vincent, W.F. ( 2011 ) Microbes in High Arctic snow and implications for the cold biosphere. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77 : 3234-3243 . 10.1128/​AEM.02611-10
  • Skidmore, M., Jungblut, A.D., Urschel, M., Jung, K. ( 2011 ) Cryospheric environments in Polar Regions (glaciers and ice sheets, sea ice, and ice shelves). In: Miller, R.V. & Whyte, L. (eds.), In: Polar microbiology: life in the deep freeze . ASM Press 218-239 .
  • Veillette, J., Lovejoy, C., Potvin, M., Harding, T., Jungblut, A.D., Antoniades, D., Chénard, C., Suttle, C.A., Vincent, W.F. ( 2011 ) Milne Fiord epishelf lake: a coastal Arctic ecosystem vulnerable to climate change. Écoscience 18 (3) : 304-316 .
  • Jungblut A.D. & Neilan, B.A. ( 2010 ) NifH-gene diversity and expression in a microbial mat community on the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Antarctic Science 22 : 117-122 . Doi:10.1017/S0954102009990514
  • Jungblut A.D. & Neilan, B.A. ( 2010 ) Cyanobacteria mats of the meltwater ponds on the McMurdo Ice Shelf (Antarctica). In: Seckbach, J., Oren S. (eds.), In: Cellular Origins, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology . Springer-Verlag 499-514 .
  • Jungblut A.D., Lovejoy C., Vincent W.F. ( 2010 ) Global distribution of cyanobacterial ecotypes in the cold biosphere. The ISME Journal 4 : 191-202 . Doi:10.1038/ismej.2009.113
  • Jungblut, A.D., Mueller, D.,Vincent, W.F. ( 2010 ) Arctic ice shelf ecosystems. In: Mueller, D. & Copland, L. (eds.), In: Arctic Ice Shelves and Ice Islands . Springer-Verlag in press .
  • Varin, T., Lovejoy, C., Jungblut, A.D., Vincent, W.F., Corbeil, J. ( 2010 ) Metagenomic profiling of Arctic microbial mat communities as nutrient scavenging and recycling systems. Limnology and Oceanography, 55 : 1901-1911 . doi:10.4319/lo.2010.55.5.1901
  • Jungblut, A.D., Allen, M.A., Burns, B.P. Neilan, B.A. ( 2009 ) Lipid biomarker characterisation of cyanobacterial mat communities in meltwater ponds of the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Organic Geochemistry 40 : 258-269 . doi:10.1016/j.orggeochem.2008.10.002
  • Zakhia, F., Jungblut, A.D., Taton, A., Vincent, W.F. and Wilmotte, A. ( 2009 ) Cyanobacteria in cold environments. In: Margesin, R., Schinner, F., Marx, J.C., Gerday, C. (eds.), In: Psychrophiles: from biodiversity to biotechnology . Springer-Verlag 121-135 .
  • Izaguirre, G., Jungblut, A.D., Neilan, B.A. ( 2007 ) Benthic cyanobacteria (Oscillatoriaceae) that produce microcystin-LR, isolated from four reservoirs in southern California. Water Research 41 : 492-498 . doi:10.1016/j.watres.2006.10.012
  • Gaylarde, P.M., Jungblut, A.D., Gaylarde, C.C., Neilan, B.A. ( 2006 ) Endolithic phototrophs in an active geothermal region in New Zealand. Geomicrobiology Journal 23 : 579-587 .
  • Jungblut, A.D. & Neilan, B.A. ( 2006 ) Molecular identification and evolution of the cyclic peptide hepatotoxins, microcystin and nodularin, synthetase genes in three orders of cyanobacteria. Archives for Microbiology 185 : 107-114 . doi:10.1007/s00203-005-0073-5
  • Jungblut, A.D. & Neilan, B.A. ( 2006 ) Methods for the screening of hepatotoxic cyanobacteria. Australia Provisional Patent . .
  • Jungblut, A.D., Hoeger, S.P., Hitzfeld, B., Mountfort, D., Dietrich, D.R., Neilan, B.A. ( 2006 ) Characterisation of microcystin production by Antarctic cyanobacteria. Toxicon 47 : 271-8 . doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2005.11.002
  • Burns, B.P., Seifert, A., Goh, F., Pomati, F., Jungblut, A.D., Serhat, A., Neilan, B.A. ( 2005 ) Genetic potential for secondary metabolites production in stromatolite communities. FEMS Microbiology Letters 243 : 293-301 . doi: 10.1016/j.femsle.2004.12.019
  • Jungblut, A.D., Hawes, I., Hitzfeld, B., Mountfort D., Dietrich, D., Burns, B.P., Neilan, B.A. ( 2005 ) Diversity within cyanobacterial mat communities in variable salinity meltwater ponds of McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Environmental Microbiology 7 : 519-29 . doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2005.00717.x
  • Saker, M.L., Jungblut, A.D., Neilan, B.A., Niedzwiadek, B., Vasconcelos, V.M. ( 2005 ) Detection of peptide synthetase genes in health food supplements containing the freshwater cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae. Toxicon 46 : 555-62 . doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2005.06.021