George Hamaoui

Assistant Professor, Biology


Research/Creative Interests

My doctoral dissertation work centers on understanding the effects of anthropogenic (human-caused) disturbance on soil microbial communities catalyzing the nitrogen (N) cycle. I work with soil from two major disturbance experiments: the Amazon Rainforest Microbial Observatory (ARMO; Rondônia, Brazil) and the Soil Warming and N-Fertilization Experiment at the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research Site (Petersham, MA). These sites, experiencing stress from land-use conversion of rainforest to pasture and from artificial warming and N-fertilization, respectively, allow researchers to determine how human activities and climate change will affect the N-cycle, one of the most critical biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial ecosystems.


Hamaoui Jr., G.S., J.L.M. Rodrigues, B.J. Bohannan, J.M. Tiedje, and K. Nüsslein. 2015. Land-Use Change Shapes Archaeal Ammonia Oxidizing Communities in Tropical Rainforest Soils in Rondônia, Brazil. Applied and Environmental Microbiology Gordon Research Seminar and Conference, Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA.

Hamaoui Jr., G.S., J.L.M. Rodrigues, B.J. Bohannan, J.M. Tiedje, and K. Nüsslein. 2014. The Effect of Land Use Change on Ammonia Oxidizing Microbial Communities in Amazonian Rainforest and Pasture Soils. American Society for Microbiology annual meeting, Boston, MA.

Hamaoui Jr., G.S., S. Frey, J. Tang, and K. Nüsslein. 2013. The Effects of Warming and Nitrogen Addition on Nitrogen Cycling Microbial Communities in a Temperate Forest Soil. Soil Ecology Society biannual meeting, Camden, NJ.


Hamaoui Jr. G.S., J.L.M. Rodrigues, B.J.M Bohannan, J.M. Tiedje, and K. Nüsslein. 2016. Land-use change drives abundance and community structure alterations of thaumarchaeal ammonia oxidizers in tropical rainforest soils in Rondônia, Brazil. Appl. Soil Ecol. 107:48-56.


Rodrigues, J.L.M., V.H. Pellizari, R. Mueller, K. Baek, E. da C. Jesus, F. S. Paula, B. Mirza, G.S. Hamaoui Jr., S.M. Tsai, B. Feigl, J. M. Tiedje, B.J.M. Bohannan, and K. Nüsslein. 2013. Conversion of the Amazon rainforest to agriculture results in biotic homogenization of soil bacterial communities. P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110:988-993.



Contact Information

Office: CSI 225A




Ph.D. in Microbiology, in progress, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 2016

B.A. in Microbiology, Ohio Wesleyan University, 2007


Courses Taught

BIOL 150: Introduction to Biology I: Cells

BIOL 480: Cell & Molecular Biology

Student Research Assistant