Ben Lambert

Ben Lambert

Simons Postdoctoral Fellow in Marine Microbial Ecology
lambertb at

Research Interests

I’m an engineer turned microbial ecologist interested in how phenotypic heterogeneity in marine picoplankton populations impacts survival in uncertain and fluctuating environments. Investigating phenotypic heterogeneity calls for measurements on the scale of individual cells. To accomplish this I am coupling automated time-lapse microscopy and raman microscopy with microfluidic systems to observe how population structure influences the fitness of populations during imposed environmental disruptions.


  • 2019 Ph.D. Oceanographic Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. Thesis title: Observing Microbial Processes at the Microscale with In Situ Technology.
  • 2012 B.Sc. Civil and Environmental Engineering. University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Positions Held

  • 2019- Post-Doctoral Research Associate, School of Oceanography, UW
  • 2015-2018 Scientific Assistant, ETH Zurich
  • 2012-2015 Research Assistant, MIT-WHOI Joint Program

Journal Publications

  1. The role of microbial motility and chemotaxis in symbiosis. Jean-Baptiste Raina, Vicente Fernandez, Bennett Lambert, Roman Stocker, and Justin Seymour. Nature Reviews Microbiology (2019)
  2. A microfluidics-based in situ chemotaxis assay to study the behavior of aquatic microbial communities. Bennett Lambert, Jean-Baptiste Raina, Vicente Fernandez, Christian Rinke, Nachshon Siboni, Francesco Rubino, Philip Hugenholtz, Gene Tyson, Justin Seymour, and Roman Stocker. Nature Microbiology (2017)
  3. A fluorescence-activated cell sorting subsystem for the Imaging FlowCytobot. Bennett Lambert, Robert J. Olson, and Heidi M. Sosik. L&O: Methods (2016)
  4. Pond fractals in a tidal flat. B.B. Cael, Bennett Lambert, and Kelsey Bisson. Phys. Rev. E 92 (2015)


  1. Fabrication and Deployment of the In Situ Chemotaxis Assay (ISCA) (Available here)