Raven Bier, Ph.D.

500 500 Stroud Water Research Center

[ALUMNA] Research Associate

Microbiology Group

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 | Curriculum Vitae


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

Professional Experience

  • 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.


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.

Impacts of conventional and organic management practices on soil health and water quality

Mukherjee, A., R. Bier, E. Omondi, J. Kan, and M. Daniels. 2020. Rodale Institute website.

Widespread cryptic viral infections in lotic biofilms

Payne, A.T., A.J. Davidson, J. Kan, M. Peipoch, R. Bier, and K. Williamson. 2019. 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.

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