Brandi Kiel Reese, Ph.D.

Senior Marine Scientist I, Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Associate Professor of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama; Ph.D., Texas A & M University, 2011


Dr. Brandi Kiel Reese is a Senior Marine Scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and an Associate Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama. She came to Alabama from Texas, where she was an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

She holds an MS (2007) from the University of California-Riverside in Soil and Water Sciences and Ph.D. (2011) from Texas A&M University in Oceanography.

Dr. Kiel Reese is a microbial ecologist and biogeochemist who uses advanced molecular techniques such as single-cell genomics, metatranscriptomics, and metagenomics to interrogate cellular life in the sediment and in extreme environments such as the marine deep subsurface and underwater mud volcanoes.

International Ocean Discovery Program

Lab Website


My research is interdisciplinary by bringing together Geology, Molecular Microbiology, and Geochemistry to provide a more integrated examination of aquatic and sediment biogeochemical cycling.

When examining various environments, I am guided by fundamental questions such as:

Who is alive?
What are they doing?
What are the global implications of microbial life within Earth systems?

Specifically, my lab specializes in combining state-of-the-art culture-independent molecular techniques (including metatranscriptomics and metagenomics) with high throughput culturing and advanced geochemical analysis to describe the total microbial environment.

This systems biology approach to understanding microbial ecology has spanned marine and freshwater; shallow sediments within estuaries and coastal hypoxic zones; deeply buried continental mines and caves, and marine subsurface sediments through the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).

Courses Taught:


  • Microbial Ecology
  • Geomicrobiology
  • Marine Organisms and Processes


  • Microbial Diversity and Ecology
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Oceanography
  • Essentials of Oceanography Lab
  • Marine Microbial Molecular Methods

In the News

Life Undiscovered, Thermo Fisher Scientific, 2023, Article

Life Undiscovered, Thermo Fisher Scientific, 2023, Video

Who We Are

Kiel Reese Lab team 2023

Left to right: Caleb Boyd, Penny Demetriades, Lydia Hayes-Guastella, and Dr. Brandi Kiel Reese

Caleb Boyd

Caleb is interested in anything outdoor related, as well as working microbes in extreme environments. In the Kiel Reese Lab, he Is studying microbial mediated methane cycling in the Ross Sea.

Penny Demetriades

Penny is interested in the interactions between marine ecosystems and anthropogenic threats. In the Kiel Reese lab, she is utilizing advanced microbial source tracking techniques to investigate sources of pathogens and contaminants to Mobile Bay, with the goal of improving community and ecosystem health.



  • Strickland, B.A., C.J. Patrick, F.R. Carvallo, S.K. Kinard, A.T. Solis, B. Kiel Reese, J.D. Hogan. 2024. Long-term climate and hydrologic regimes shape stream invertebrate community susceptibility to a hurricane disturbance. Journal of Animal Ecology.


  • Sobol, M.S. *, and B. Kiel Reese. Genome characterization of two novel deep-sea sediment fungi, Penicillium pacificagyrus sp. nov. and Penicillium pacificasedimenti sp. nov., from South Pacific Gyre subseafloor sediments, highlights survivability. BMC Genomics.
  • Mullis, M.M., J.D. Selwyn, R. Kevorkian, E.D. Tague, H.F. Castro, S.R. Campagna, K.G. Lloyd, B. Kiel Reese. 2023. Microbial survival mechanisms within serpentinizing Mariana forearc sediments. FEMS Microbiology Ecology.


  • Strickland, B.A., C.J. Patrick, F.R. Carvallo, S.K. Kinard, A.T. Solis, B. Kiel Reese, J.D. Hogan. Local climate and hydrology shape stream invertebrate community susceptibility to a major storm disturbance. Freshwater Biology. Accepted and In Press
  • Mullis, M.M.*, J.D. Selwyn, R. Kevorkian, E.D. Tague, H.F. Castro, S.R. Campagna, K.G. Lloyd, B. Kiel Reese. Microbial survival mechanisms within serpentinizing Mariana forearc sediments. FEMS Microbiology Ecology.
  • Carvallo, F.R, B.A. Strickland, S.K. Kinard, B. Kiel Reese, J.D. Hogan, C.J. Patrick. 2022. Structure and functional composition of macroinvertebrate communities in coastal plain streams across a precipitation gradient. Freshwater Biology.
  • Defforey D., B.J. Tully, J.B. Sylvan, B.J. Cade-Menun, B. Kiel Reese, L. Zinke, A. Paytan. 2022. Potential Phosphorus Uptake Mechanisms in the Deep Sedimentary Biosphere. Frontiers in Marine Science. 9.
  • Nesbitt, K. *, J. Bloodgood, M.M. Mullis, A.C. Deming, K. Colegrove, B. Kiel Reese. Draft genome sequences of Erysipelothrix sp. isolated from stranded septic bottlenose dolphins in Alabama, USA. Microbiology Resource Announcements.


  • Kiel Reese, B., M.S. Sobol*, M. Bowles, K.-U. Hinrichs. Redefining the subsurface biosphere: Characterization of fungi isolated from energy-limited marine deep subsurface sediment. Frontiers in Fungal Biology.
  • Patrick, C., J.S. Kominoski, W.H. McDowell, B. Branoff, D. Lagomasino, M. Leon, E. Hensel, M.J.S. Hensel, B.A. Strickland, T.M. Aide, A. Armitage, M. Campos-Cerqueira, V.M. Congdon, T.A. Crow, D.J. Devlin, S. Douglas, B.E. Erisman, R.A. Feagin, S.J. Geist, N.S. Hall, A.K. Hardison, M.R. Heithaus, J.A. Hogan, J.D. Hogan, S. Kinard, P.A. Montagna, C.S. O'Connell, C.E. Proffitt, B. Kiel Reese, J.W. Reustle, K.L. Robinson, S.A. Rush, R.O. Santos, A. Schnetzer, D.L. Smee, R.S. Smith, G. Starr, B.A. Stauffer, L.M. Walker, C.A. Weaver, M.S. Wetz, E.R. Whitman, S.S. Wilson, J. Xue, X. Zou. A general pattern of trade-offs between ecosystem resistance and resilience to tropical cyclones. Sciences Advances. 8(9):eabl9155.
  • Akam, S.*, T.W. Lyons, R.B. Coffin, D. McGee, T.H. Naehr, S.M. Bates, C. Clarkson, B. Kiel Reese. Carbon-sulfur signals of methane versus crude oil diagenetic decomposition and U-Th age relationships for authigenic carbonates from asphalt seeps, southern Gulf of Mexico. Chemical Geology 581:120395.
  • Mullis M.M. *, R.E. Weisend*, B. Kiel Reese. Draft genome sequences of Idiomarina abyssalis strain KJE, Marinobacter salarius strain NP2017, and Marinobacter salarius strain AT3901, isolated from deep-sea sediment near the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Microbiology Resource Announcements.


  • Hogan, J.A., R.A. Feagin, G. Starr, M. Ross, T.-C. Lin, C. O’Connell, T.P. Huff, B.A. Stauffer, K. L. Robinson, M. Chapela Lara, J. Xue, B. Kiel Reese, S.J. Geist, E.R. Whitman, S. Douglas, V.M. Congdon, J.W. Reustle, R.S. Smith, D. Lagomasino, B.A. Strickland, S.S. Wilson, C.E. Proffitt, J.D. Hogan, Benjamin L Branoff, A.R. Armitage, S.A. Rush, R.O. Santos, M. Campos-Cerqueira, Paul A Montagna, Brad Erisman, Lily Walker, Whendee L Silver, T.A. Crowl, Michael Wetz, Nathan Hall, X. Zou, S.C. Pennings, L.-J. Wang, C.-T. Chang, M. Leon, W.H. Mcdowell, J.S. Kominoski, C.J. Patrick. A research framework to integrate cross-ecosystem responses to tropical cyclones. BioScience. 70(6): 477–489.


  • Patrick, C.J., L. Yeager, F. Carvallo, V. Congdon, K.H. Dutton, M. Fisher, A. Hardison, J.D. Hogan, J. Hosen, X. Hu, B. Kiel Reese, S. Kinard, J.S. Kominoshi, X. Lin, Z. Liu, P.A. Montagna, S.C. Pennings, L. Walker, C.A. Weaver. M. Wetz. A systems-level Analysis of coastal ecosystem responses to hurricane impacts. Estuaries and Coasts.
  • Mullis, M.M. *, I. Rambo, B.J. Baker, B. Kiel Reese. Ecological roles and diversity of antimicrobials in nature. Frontiers in Microbiology: Antimicrobials, Resistance and Chemotherapy.
  • Jangir, J., A.A., Karbelkar, N.M. Beedle, L.A. Zinke *, G. Wanger, C.M. Anderson, B. Kiel Reese, J.P. Amend, and M.Y. El-Naggar. In situ electrochemical studies of the terrestrial deep subsurface biosphere at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, South Dakota, USA. Frontiers in Energy Research: Bioenergy and Biofuels.
  • Sobol, M.S.*, T. Hoshino, T. Futagami, F. Inagaki, B. Kiel Reese. Draft genome sequences of Penicillium spp. from deeply buried oligotrophic sediment. Microbiology Resource Announcements.
  • Bird, J.T., E.D. Tague, L.A. Zinke*, J.M. Schmidy, A.D. Steen, B. Kiel Reese, I.P.G. Marshall, G. Webster, A. Weightman, H.F. Castro, S.R. Campagna, K.G. Lloyd. 2019. Uncultured microbial phyla suggest mechanisms for multi-thousand-year subsistence in Baltic Sea sediments. mBio.
  • Pohlner, M.*, L. Dlugosch, B. Wemheuer, H.J. Mills, B. Engelen, B. Kiel Reese. The majority of Rhodobacteraceae in marine sediments belong to uncultured genera: A molecular approach to link their distribution to environmental conditions. Frontiers in Aquatic Microbiology.


  • Zinke, L.A.*, C. Glombitza, J.T. Bird, H. Røy, B. Barker Jørgensen, K.G. Lloyd, J.A. Amend, B. Kiel Reese. Climate influences microbial organic matter degradation in Baltic Sea sediments. Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
  • Zinke, L.A.*, B. Kiel Reese, J. McManus, C.G. Wheat, B.N. Orcutt, J. Amend. Sediment microbial communities influenced by cool hydrothermal fluid migration. Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology. 9:1249.
  • Sheik, C.S., B. Kiel Reese (co-first author), K.I. Twing, J.B. Sylvan, S.L. Grim, M.O. Schrenk, M.L. Sogin, F. Colwell. 2018. Identification and removal contaminant sequences from genomic databases: Lessons from the Census of Deep Life. Frontiers in Microbiology.
  • Kiel Reese, B.K., L.A. Zinke*, M.S. Sobol*, D.E. LaRowe, B.N. Orcutt, X. Zhang, U. Jaekel, F. Wang, H.J. Mills, T. Dittmar, J.P. Amend, K.J. Edwards, P.R. Girguis. Nitrogen cycling potential of active bacteria within oligotrophic sediment of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge flank. Geomicrobiology Journal. 35(6): 468-483.



  • Kiel Reese, B.K., J. Koester, J.B. Kirkpatrick, T. Konotchick, L.Z. Allen, and C. Dziallas. How extreme is extreme? A review of life in extreme environments. Eco-DAS X Symposium Proceedings. Waco, TX: Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography. 5:69–87.
  • Kieft, T., T. Onstott, L. Ahonen, V. Aloisi, F. Colwell, B. Engelen, S. Fendrihan, E. Gaidos, U. Harms, I. Head, J. Kallmeyer, B. Kiel Reese, L. Lin, P. Long, D. Moser, H. Mills, P. Sar, D. Schulze-Makuch, H. Stan-Lotter, D. Wagner, P. Wang, F. Westall and M. Wilkins. Workshop to develop deep-life continental scientific drilling projects. Scientific Drilling. 19: 43-53.


  • Momper, L.M., B. Kiel Reese (co-first author), G. Carvalho, P. Lee, and E.A. Webb. 2014. Characterization of a novel cohabitation between two diazotrophic Cyanobacteria. ISME Journal. 9(4):882.
  • Orcutt, B.N., D.E. LaRowe, K.G. Lloyd, H. Mills, W. Orsi, B. Kiel Reese, J. Sauvage, J.A. Huber, and J. Amend. ODP Deep Biosphere Research Workshop report–a synthesis of recent investigations, and discussion of new research questions and drilling targets. Scientific Drilling. 17: 61-66.


  • Reese, B.K., A.D. Witmer, S. Moller, J.W. Morse, and H.J. Mills. Molecular assays advance understanding of sulfate reduction despite cryptic cycles. Biogeochemistry. 118(1): 307-319.
  • Orcutt, B., D. LaRowe, J.F. Biddle, F.S. Colwell, B.T. Glazer, B. Kiel Reese, J. Kirkpatrick, H.J. Mills, J.B. Sylvan. Microbial activity in the deep biosphere: Progress and prospects. Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology. 4:189.
  • Reese, B.K., H.J. Mills, S.E. Dowd, and J.W. Morse. Benthic biogeochemistry of microbial iron and sulfate reduction in the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. Geomicrobiology. 30:160-172.
  • Bianchi, T.S., F. Garcia-Tigreros, S. Yvon-Lewis, M. Shields, H.J. Mills, D. Butman, C. Osburn, P. Raymond, C. Shank, S.F. DiMarco, N. Walker, B. Kiel Reese, R. Mullins, A. Quigg, G. R. Aiken, and E.L. Grossman. Enhanced transfer of terrestrially-derived carbon to the atmosphere in a flooding event. Geophysical Research Letters.


  • Mills, H.J., B. Kiel Reese, A. Shepard, N. Riedinger, S. Dowd, Y. Morono, and F. Inagaki. 2012. Characterization of metabolically active bacterial populations in subseafloor Nankai Trough sediments above, within and below the sulfate-methane transition zone. Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology. 3:113.
  • Mills, H.J., B. Kiel Reese, and C. St. Peter. Characterization of microbial population shifts during sample storage. 2012. Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology. 3:49.


  • Reese, B.K., D.W. Finneran, H.J. Mills, M.-X. Zhu, and J.W. Morse. 2011. Examination and refinement of the determination of aqueous hydrogen sulfide by the methylene blue method. Aquatic Geochemistry. 17(4):567-582.



  • Reese, B.K., M.A. Anderson, and C. Amrhein. Hydrogen sulfide production and volatilization in a polymictic eutrophic lake, Salton Sea, California. Science of the Total Environment. 406:205-218.
  • Parker, D.R., A.L Seyfferth, and B.K. Reese. Perchlorate in Groundwater: A Synoptic Survey of “Pristine” Sites in the Coterminous United States. Environmental Science and Technology. 42:1465-1471.