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Chris Marx

Christopher Marx



Gibb Hall 134



Mailing Address

Dept. of Biological Sciences
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter MS 3051
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3051

Research: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Biochemistry

  • Ph.D. Microbiology, University of Washington, 2003
  • B.S. Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1997
  • B.S. Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1997

My research interests are at the intersection of microbial physiology and evolution, and span from experimental and computational approaches. On one hand, we use experimental evolution as a tool to uncover novel genes and functions. On the other, we apply systems-level models of metabolism to try to predict genetic interactions, optimal phenotypes, and evolutionary outcomes of evolving populations.

Chris Marx starts as an Associate Professor in Biological Sciences in January of 2014. After double majoring in Biology and Environmental Engineering at MIT and doing undergraduate research with Penny Chisholm, he earned his doctorate in Microbiology at the University of Washington with Mary Lidstrom. His thesis work explored the physiological challenges of the unusual methanol-utilizing metabolism of Methylobacterium. After becoming interested in evolutionary questions, he chose to pursue his NSF Microbial Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship at Michigan State University with Rich Lenski. Chris started his own group at Harvard University in 2005 in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. Although the systems are varied, the major theme of the lab's work has been to forge connections between underlying physiology and evolutionary and ecological outcomes, using mathematical models to generate quantitative, testable predictions.

  • Established, a website dedicated to providing educational resources and discussion at the intersection of evolutionary biology and microbiology. 2011-present.
  • Featured Guest for TV show: “Contemporary Science Issues & Innovations” (video). Science for the Public, WGBH Forum Network, Belmont, MA. 2013.
  • Host and organizer, Public lecture by Sam Calagione (founder of Dogfish Head Brewery): “Man and microbe: Exotic ales since the birth of civilization”. Microbial Sciences Initiative, Harvard University. 2012.

  • 2013-2015 American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer
  • 2013 Nominee for Star Family Prize for Excellence in Advising, Harvard University
  • 2009 National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  • 2008 Evolution in Medicine Lecturer, National Institutes of Health
  • 2008 Nominee for Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize, Harvard University
  • 2003-2005 National Science Foundation Microbial Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship


Department of Biological Sciences

Physical Address:
Life Sciences South 252

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3051
Moscow, ID 83844-3051

Phone: 208-885-6280

Fax: 208-885-7905


Web: Department of Biological Sciences