Raven Bier, Ph.D.

500 500 Stroud Water Research Center

Adjunct Research Scientist

Contact information

Interests and Expertise

Raven works at the intersection of microbial ecology and biogeochemistry with the goal of understanding how communities of microorganisms create and respond to changes in their environment. Her research goals encompass three major objectives: 1) understanding how disturbances alter microbially mediated nutrient cycling, 2) identifying connections between microbial phylogeny and microbial processes, and 3) manipulating categories of microbiome assembly to study the influence on functional groups. She uses field and lab studies to determine the consequences of land-use change on aquatic microbiomes and seeks to understand which concepts and parameters best enable us to predict their responses under environmentally-relevant conditions. The long-term goal of her research is to couple microbiome research with biogeochemical dynamics in a way that will expand both our conceptual and applied capacity for ecosystem stewardship.

Google Scholar


  • Ph.D., Ecology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
  • B.A., Biology, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota.

Professional Experience

  • Adjunct research scientist, Stroud Water Research Center, 2022–present.
  • Assistant research scientist, Savannah River Ecology Lab, University of Georgia, 2020–present.
  • Research associate, Stroud Water Research Center, 2020.
  • Postdoctoral researcher, Stroud Water Research Center, 2018–2019.
  • Postdoctoral research fellow, Uppsala University, Sweden, 2016–2018.
  • Research
    • Visiting scholar, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, 2015.
    • Research assistant, Duke University, 2010–2012.
    • Research technician, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2009–2010.
    • Research technician, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, 2008–2009.
    • Research associate, Duke University, 2007–2008.
    • Consultant, United States Geological Survey, 2013.
  • Teaching
    • Teaching assistant (microbiology), Duke University, 2014.
    • Teaching assistant (aquatic field ecology), Duke University, 2013.
    • Teaching assistant (molecular biology), Duke University, 2011, 2012.
    • Teaching assistant (biogeochemistry, developmental neurobiology), Carleton College, 2006–2007.

Stroud Center Publications

Distinct distribution of Archaea from soil to freshwater to estuary: implications of archaeal composition and function in different environments

Wang, H., R.L. Bier, L. Zgleszewski, M. Peipoch, E. Omondi, A. Mukherjee, F. Chen, C. Zhang, and J. Kan. 2020. Frontier in Microbiology 11:576661.

Bacterial communities and nitrogen transformation genes in streambank legacy sediments and implications for biogeochemical processing

Sienkiewicz, N., R.L. Bier, J. Wang, L. Zgleszewski, A. Lutgen, G. Jiang, K. Mattern, S. Inamdar, and J. Kan. 2020. Biogeochemistry 148:271–290.

Widespread cryptic viral infections in lotic biofilms

Payne, A.T., A.J. Davidson, J. Kan, M. Peipoch, R. Bier, and K. Williamson. 2020. Biofilm 2, 100016.

Understanding how microbiomes influence the systems they inhabit

Hall E.K., E.S. Bernhardt, R.L. Bier, M.A. Bradford, C.M. Boot, J.B. Cotner, P.A. del Giorgio, S.E. Evans, E.B. Graham, S.E. Jones, J.T. Lennon, K. Locey, D.R. Nemergut, B.B. Osborne, J.D. Rocca, J.P. Schimel, M.P. Waldrop, M.D. Wallenstein. 2018. Nature Microbiology 3:977–982.

Related News

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Stroud™ Water Research Center recently participated in field days to share our knowledge about farming for clean fresh water.

Sharing Our Science in Salt Lake City

Stroud Center scientists shared their work at the weeklong annual meeting of this premier international organization of aquatic scientists.

Going to Extremes

The Stroud Center is engaged in research aimed at creating and testing new land-management practices to address issues raised by increased weather extremes.

Getting Slimed: Scientists Investigate Biofilms in Streams Amidst Climate Change

Slippery, shiny, and available in varying shades of green, slime is the latest research interest of two Stroud Water Research Center scientists.

Sharing Our Science at Rodale Institute’s Field Day

Visitors learned the importance of integrating knowledge about farming practices and water quality and assessing the influence that farming decisions have on soils and streams.

Meet Raven Bier: New Postdoctoral Associate

Through her work at the Stroud Center, Bier hopes to better understand how changes in farming practices on land affect the relationship between microbes and the processing of nutrients in streams.