Brett Baker, PhD


The University of Texas at Austin

Brett Baker is an assistant professor in marine science at the Marine Science Institute, University of Texas at Austin. His research seeks to understand the ecology and evolution of uncultured bacteria and archaea.

His laboratory leverages computational approaches to characterize the genomic diversity of marine sediments primarily. The reconstruction of uncultured genomes from his team in recent years has provided the first glimpses of the physiological capabilities of new branches on the tree of life.

Dr. Baker’s research group also uses a variety of activity-based methods to track the metabolic activity of these novel microbes in nature. His laboratory has also been instrumental in the characterization of archaea that are related to eukaryotes that have advanced our understanding of the origin of complex cellular life.

In 2014, he received his Ph.D. in geological sciences from the University of Michigan, where he studied the geomicrobiology of deep-sea hydrothermal plumes and estuary sediments. Prior to doing so he was a research assistant at the University of California, Berkeley for 10 years, studying the microbes associated with acid mine drainage


  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Genomic diversity
  • Computational methods