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Forest Rohwer (born 1969) is an American microbial ecologist and Professor of Biology at San Diego State University. His particular interests include coral reef microbial ecology and viruses as both evolutionary agents and opportunistic pathogens in various environments.
Education and career
Rohwer holds bachelor degrees in biology, chemistry, and history from the College of Idaho and earned his doctorate in molecular biology from the University of California, San Diego/San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program.
He has authored more than 90 scientific papers and book chapters, as well as one popular science book, Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas, published in 2010. He pioneered the use of metagenomics as a means to characterize previously inscrutable viral and microbial communities, such as those associated with coral reefs. His field work with colleagues includes expeditions to the Northern Line Islands in 2005 and 2010, and to the Southern Line Islands in 2009.
Rohwer has been named a Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). In 2008, he received the Young Investigators Award from the International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME).
Growing up in Idaho, Rohwer learned scuba diving in a frigid glacial lake. Later he took that skill to tropical waters where, for more than twenty years, he has been diving and doing research on coral reefs around the world. He lives in University Heights, San Diego, CA, with microbial geneticist Anca Segall, and their daughter Willow.