Julie Olson

Julie B. Olson


Curriculum Committee Chair

  • jolson@ua.edu
  • 3323 Science and Engineering Complex (SEC)
  • Accepting Graduate Students


  • Postdoctoral research: Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution
  • PhD, Environmental Sciences and Engineering and Microbial Ecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1997

Research Interests

  • Sponge-microbial interactions, determine what controls microbial community structure within a host organism
  • Increasing microbial recoverability from various environments, create and apply novel media and media additions in order to cultivate the largest percent of the community
  • Elucidation of microbially-produced secondary metabolites that serve as anti-microbials
  • Applying molecular genetic techniques to examine the microbial communities associated with various environments, particular focus on functional genes

Selected Publications

  • Monti, M., A. Giorgi, C.G. Easson, D.J. Gochfeld, J.B. Olson. 2021. Distinct differences in prokaryotic community composition between healthy and ARBS-affected Aplysina cauliformis sponges suggest polymicrobial causation. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 97:fiab164. DOI:10.1093/femsec/fiab164
  • Olson, J.B., C.G. Easson, D.J. Gochfeld. 2021. Temporal changes in the sponge holobiont during the course of infection with Aplysina Red Band Syndrome. Coral Reefs 40:1211-1226, DOI:10.1007/s00338-021-02126-6.
  • Stahl, L.M., J.B. Olson. 2021. Environmental abiotic and biotic factors affecting the distribution and abundance of Naegleria fowleri. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 97:fiaa238. DOI:10.1093/femsec/fiaa238
  • Gochfeld, D.J., J.B. Olson, A. Chaves-Fonnegra, T.B. Smith, R.S. Ennis, M.E. Brandt. 2020. Impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on coral reef sponges in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Estuaries Coasts. DOI: 10.1007/s12237-020-00694-4
  • Brandt, M.E., L.K. Olinger, A. Chaves-Fonnegra, J.B. Olson, D.J. Gochfeld. 2019. Coral recruitment is impacted by the presence of a sponge community. Mar Biol 166:49, DOI: 10.1007/s00227-019-3493-5
  • Thomas, T., L. Moitinho-Silva, M. Lurgi, C. Easson, J.R. Björk, C. Easson, C. Astudillo-García, J. Olson, P. Erwin, S. Lopez-Legentil, H. Luter, R. Hill, A. Chaves-Fonnegra, R. Costa, L. Steindler, P. Schupp, D. Erpenbeck, J. Gilbert, R. Knight, G. Ackerman, J.V. Lopez, M. Taylor, R.W. Thacker, J.M. Montoya, U. Hentschel Humeida, and N. Webster. 2016. Global sponge microbiome: diversity, structure and convergent evolution of symbiont communities across the phylum Porifera. Nature Comm 7:11870. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11870
  • Watkins, A.L., A. Ray, L.R. Roberts, K.A. Caldwell, and J.B. Olson.  The prevalence and distribution of neurodegenerative compound-producing soil Streptomyces spp.  Nature Sci Rep 6:22566. DOI: 10.1038/srep22566
  • Stauber, C.E., J.C. Wedgworth, P. Johnson, J.B. Olson, T. Ayers, M. Elliott, and J. Brown. 2016.  Associations between self-reported gastrointestinal illness and water system characteristics in community water supplies in rural Alabama: a cross-sectional study. PLoS One 11:e0148102.  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148102
  • Olson, J.B., and C.A. Kellogg.  2010. Microbial ecology of corals, sponges, and algae in mesophotic coral environments.  FEMS Microb Ecol 73:17-30