Faculty & Staff

Patrick M. Erwin, Assistant Professor

Erwin
Ph.D., Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, 2007
M.S., Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, 2003
B.S., Biology, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, 2001
Myrtle Grove 1337 | (910) 962-2326 | Center for Marine Science, 5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane, Wilmington, NC 28409-5928 | erwinp@uncw.edu | http://www.imesalab.com/iMESA/Home.html




Research Interests


My primary fields of interest are microbial ecology and environmental microbiology, with particular focus on symbiotic microbial communities in marine invertebrates, including:

My secondary research interests include marine invertebrate life cycles, larval behavior of reef-building corals and the economic valuation of ecosystem resources for conservation initiatives.

Background Information

Research Agenda

My research projects couple modern genetic techniques (next generation sequencing) with field and aquaria experimentation to investigate the contribution of microbial symbionts to marine biodiversity, host ecology and coastal ecosystem processes. Key areas of study include:

Long-Term Goals

Publications

Fan Z, Pita L, Erwin PM, Summara A, López-Legentil S, Hill RT. (In press) Symbiotic archaea in marine sponges show stability and host specificity in community structure and ammonium oxidation functionality. FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Riesgo A, Blasco G, Erwin PM, Pérez-Portela R, López-Legentil S (2014) Optimization of fourteen microsatellite markers in a Mediterranean demosponge subjected to population decimation, Ircinia fasciculata. Conservation Genetics Resources 6: 301-303

Erwin PM, Pineda MC, Webster N, Turon X, López-Legentil S (2014) Down under the tunic: Bacterial biodiversity hotspots and widespread ammonia-oxidizing archaea in coral reef ascidians. The ISME Journal 8: 575-588

Pita L, Erwin PM, Turon X, López-Legentil S. Till death do us part: Stable sponge-bacteria associations under thermal and food shortage stresses. PLoS ONE 8(11): e80307.

Pita L, Turon X, Lopez-Legentil S, Erwin PM (2013) Host rules: Spatial stability of bacterial communities associated with Ircinia spp. in the Western Mediterranean Sea. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 86: 268-276

Turon X, Garriga A, Erwin PM (2013) Lights and shadows: Growth patterns in three sympatric and congeneric species (Ircinia spp.) with contrasting abundances of photosymbionts. Marine Biology 160: 2743-2754

Pita L, Lopez-Legentil S, Erwin PM (2013) Assessing the fidelity of sponge-bacteria relationships: Biogeography and host-specificity of bacterial communities in Ircinia spp. from the Bahamas. Microbial Ecology 66: 437-447

Erwin PM, Pineda MC, Webster N, Turon X, López-Legentil S (2013) Small core communities and high variability in bacteria associated with the introduced ascidian Styela plicata. Symbiosis 59(1): 35-46

López-Legentil S, Erwin PM, Velasco M, Turon X (2013) Growing or reproducing in a temperate sea: Optimization of resource allocation in a colonial ascidian. Invertebrate Biology 132(1): 69-80

Hirose E, Turon X, Lopez-Legentil S, Erwin PM, Hirose M (2012) First records of didemnid ascidians harboring Prochloron from the Caribbean Panama: Genetic relationships between Caribbean and Pacific photosymbionts and host ascidians. Systematics and Biodiversity 10(4): 435-445

Erwin PM, Pita L, López-Legentil S, Turon X (2012) Stability of sponge-bacteria symbioses over large seasonal shifts in temperature and irradiance. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78(20): 7358-7368

Erwin PM, López-Legentil S, Turon X (2012) Ultrastructure, molecular phylogenetics and chlorophyll a content of novel cyanobacterial symbionts in temperate sponge hosts. Microbial Ecology 64: 771-783

Erwin PM, López-Legentil S, Gonzalez-Pech R, Turon X (2012) A specific mix of generalists: Bacterial symbionts in Mediterranean Ircinia spp. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 79: 619-637

Erwin PM, Olson JB, Thacker RW (2011) Phylogenetic diversity, host-specificity and community profiling of sponge-associated bacterial communities in the northern Gulf of Mexico. PLoS ONE 6(11): e26806

Erwin PM (2011) Corporate codes of conduct: The effects of code content and quality on ethical performance. Journal of Business Ethics 99(4): 535-548

Erwin PM, López-Legentil S, Schuhmann PW (2010) The pharmaceutical value of marine biodiversity for anti-cancer drug discovery.  Ecological Economics 70: 445-451

Erwin PM, Szmant AM (2010) Settlement induction of Acropora palmata planulae by a GLW-amide neuropeptide. Coral Reefs 29(4): 929-939

López-Legentil S, Erwin PM, Pawlik JR, Song B (2010) Effects of sponge bleaching on ammonia-oxidizing Archaea: Distribution and relative expression of ammonia monooxygenase genes associated with the barrel sponge Xestospongia muta. Microbial Ecology 60: 561-571

López-Legentil S, Erwin PM, Henkel TP, Pawlik JR (2010) Phenotypic plasticity in the sponge Callyspongia vaginalis (Porifera; Haplosclerida): Morphological and molecular data. Scientia Marina 74(3): 445-453

Erwin PM, Song B, Szmant AM (2009) Settlement behavior of Acropora palmata planulae: Effects of biofilm age and crustose coralline algal cover. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, pp. 1219-1224

Erwin PM, Thacker RW (2008) Cryptic diversity of the symbiotic cyanobacterium Synechococcus spongiarum among sponge hosts. Molecular Ecology 17(12): 2937-2947

Erwin PM, Thacker RW (2008) Phototrophic nutrition and symbiont diversity of two Caribbean sponge-cyanobacteria symbioses. Marine Ecology Progress Series 362: 139-147

Erwin PM, Thacker RW (2007) Incidence and identity of photosynthetic symbionts in Caribbean coral reef sponge assemblages. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 87(6): 1683-1692

Erwin PM, Thacker RW (2007) Phylogenetic analyses of marine sponges within the order Verongida: A comparison of morphological and molecular data. Invertebrate Biology 126(3): 220-234

Thacker RW, Diaz MC, Rützler K, Erwin PM, Kimble SJA, Pierce MJ, Dillard SL (2007) Phylogenetic relationships among the filamentous cyanobacterial symbionts of Caribbean sponges and a comparison of photosynthetic production between sponges hosting filamentous and unicellular cyanobacteria.  In: Custódio MR, Lôbo-Hajdu G, Hajdu E, and Muricy G (eds). Porifera research: biodiversity, innovation and sustainability. Série Livros 28.  Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, pp. 621-626


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