Professor of Marine Microbial Genetics
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Marine Biology Research Division

Douglas H. Bartlett is a professor of marine microbial genetics in the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine and in the Marine Biology Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in microbial molecular biology at the University of Illinois in 1985.  After several years as a postdoctoral scholar and Research Scientist at the Agouron Institute in La Jolla he assumed a faculty position at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, in 1989, where he now holds the rank of Professor.  He served as Chair of the Scripps Department and Deputy Director for Education from 2008 until 2012.   He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2017. 

Dr. Bartlett has extensive experience in analyses of extremophilic microbial life in the inner space of our oceans.  His research group has pioneered studies of the adaptations that enable deep-sea microbes to live at great pressures, up to and beyond 15,000 pounds per square inch. Much of this work utilizes the tools of genetics, genomics and functional genomics to work through the gene parts lists and wiring diagrams associated with particular aspects of microbial adaptation. 

Current projects in the Bartlett laboratory include the isolation and characterization of novel microbes from deep-sea trenches and hydrothermal vent systems, trench microbial community studies and biogeography analyses, directed evolution of microorganisms to greater tolerance to high pressure, analyses of pressure effects on microbial motility and hydrocarbon chemotaxis systems, and single-cell isolation and genome characterization of microbes from the deepest regions of the Atlantic and Pacific. In recent years he has used autonomous sampling instruments to recover deep-sea samples. It is hoped that future generations of these instruments will enable greater capabilities for exploration and sample recovery.