Education
Ph.D. Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014
Dissertation: Microbial ecology of a manmade oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a natural, hydrothermal oil seep in the Gulf of California
M.S. Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011
Thesis: Spatial heterogeneity of phylogenetically diverse orange and white Beggiatoa mats in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments
B.S. Molecular Biology, Minor: Chemistry, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2007

Professional Experience
Assistant Research Professor, 2018 - present
Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences &
Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University
Postdoctoral Researcher, 2015 – 2018
Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences/
Microbiology & Immunology/
Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University
Assistant Research Scientist, 2014
Department of Marine Sciences, UNC-Chapel Hill
Marine Microbiology Technician, 2011 – 2012
NSF LTER at Palmer Station, Antarctica

Awards and Fellowships
Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2015 – 2017
NASA Postdoctoral Program, NASA Astrobiology Institute
DNA sequencing grant, Co-Investigator2016
Deep Carbon Observatory’s Census of Deep Life
Graduate Student Fellowship, 2012 – 2014
Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations
Graduate Student Grant, 2011 – 2012
North Carolina Space Grant
Science and Technology Graduate Fellowship, 2008 – 2009
The Graduate School, UNC-Chapel Hill

Teaching Experience
Instructor, Microbial diversity, ecology, and evolution, 2018
Montana State University
Research mentor, molecular microbiology, 2015 – present
Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University
Research mentor, molecular microbiology, 2009 – 2014
Department of Marine Sciences, UNC-Chapel Hill
High school science mentor, marine microbiology, 2014
Teaching assistant, Hopkins Microbiology Course, 2013
Stanford University
Private contracting tutor, Oceanography, 2012

Field Experience
Backcountry geothermal spring sampling, 2015 – present
Yellowstone National Park, USA
Research cruise, R/V Annie, 2017
Yellowstone Lake, USA
Research cruise, R/V El Puma, 2014
Gulf of California, Mexico
Field scientist, NSF Long Term Ecological Research, 2011 – 2012
Palmer Station, Antarctica
Rapid Response research cruiseR/V Pelican PE1031, 2010
Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico
Research cruise, R/V Atlantis AT15-56, HOV Alvin dive 4567, 2009
Guaymas Basin hydrothermal vents, Gulf of California, Mexico
Research cruise, R/V Atlantis AT15-55, 2009
Guaymas Basin hydrothermal vents, Gulf of California, Mexico                                             
Research cruise, R/V Atlantis AT15-40, HOV Alvin dive 4489, 2008
Guaymas Basin hydrothermal vents, Gulf of California, Mexico

Publications
12) McKay L, Dlakic M, Fields M, Jay Z, Eren M, Delmont T, Klingelsmith K, Rusch D, Inskeep W (accepted 2018) Co-occurring genomic capacity for anaerobic methane and dissimilatory sulfur metabolisms discovered in the Korarchaeota. Nature Microbiology |
11) Borrel G, Adam P, McKay L, Chen L, Sierra-García I, Sieber C, Andersen G, Li W, Hallam S, Muyzer G, de Oliveira V, Inskeep W, Banfield J, Gribaldo S (accepted 2018) Genome-resolved metagenomics illuminates the evolutionary landscape of methanogenic, methanotrophic and short-chain alkane oxidizing archaea. Nature Microbiology
10. McKay L, Hatzenpichler R, Inskeep W, Fields M (2017) Occurrence and expression of novel methyl-coenzyme M reductase gene (mcrA) variants in hot spring sediments. Scientific Reports DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-07354-x
9. Yang T, Speare K, McKay L, MacGregor B, Joye S, Teske A (2016) Distinct Bacterial Communities in Surficial Seafloor Sediments Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Blowout. Frontiers in Microbiology DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.0138
8. Teske A, De Beer D, McKay L, Tivey MK, Biddle JF, Hoer D, Lloyd KG, Lever MA, Roy H, Albert DB, Mendlovitz HP, MacGregor BJ (2016) The Guaymas Basin hiking guide to hydrothermal mounds, chimneys, and microbial mats: complex seafloor expressions of subsurface hydrothermal circulation. Frontiers in Microbiology DOI:  10.3389/fmicb.2016.00075
7. Dowell E, Cardman Z, Dasarathy S, Kellermann M, Lipp JS, Ruff SE, Biddle JF, McKay L, MacGregor BJ, Lloyd KG, Albert DB, Mendlovitz H, Hinrichs KU, Teske A (2016) Microbial communities in methane- and short chain alkane-rich hydrothermal sediments of Guaymas Basin. Frontiers in Microbiology DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00017
6. McKay L, Klokman V, Mendlovitz H, LaRowe D, Hoer D, Albert D, Amend J, Teske A (2016) Thermal and geochemical influences on microbial biogeography in the hydrothermal sediments of Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California. Environmental Microbiology Reports DOI: 10.1111/1758-2229.12365
5. McKay L, Gutierrez T, Teske A (2013) Development of a group-specific 16S rRNA-targeted probe set for the identification of Marinobacter by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Deep Sea Research Part II, DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.10.009
4. Gutierrez T, Berry D, Yang TT, Mishamandani S, McKay L, Teske A, Aitken M (2013) Role of Bacterial Exopolysaccharides (EPS) in the Fate of the Oil Released Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. PLoS ONE, 8(6): e67717, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067717
3. McKay L, MacGregor B, Biddle J, Albert D, Mendlovitz H, Hoer D, Lipp J, Lloyd K, Teske A (2012) Spatial heterogeneity and underlying geochemistry of phylogenetically diverse orange and white Beggiatoa mats in the hydrothermal fields of Guaymas basin. Deep Sea Research Part I, 67: 21 – 31, DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr.2012.04.011
2. Ziervogel K, McKay L, Rhodes B, Osburn C, Dickson-Brown J, Arnosti C, Teske A (2012) Microbial activities and dissolved organic matter dynamics in oil-contaminated surface seawater from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site. PLoS ONE, 7(4): e34816, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034816
1. Diercks A, Asper V, Highsmith R, Woolsey M, Lohrenz S, McLetchie K, Gossett A, Lowe M, Joung D, McKay L, Joye S, Teske A (2010) NIUST – Deepwater horizon oil spill response cruise. OCEANS 2010 DOI: 10.1109/OCEANS.2010.5664443

 Presentations
14. McKay L, Jay Z, Hatzenpichler R, Fields M, Inskeep W. Multiple archaeal phyla have methane cycling potential in geothermal springs. AbSciCon, April 2017 (poster)
13. McKay L, Jay Z, Hatzenpichler R, Fields M, Inskeep W. Methane cycling by novel archaea in Yellowstone National Park hot springs. DOE Joint Genome Institute User Meeting, March 2017 (poster)
12. (invited) McKay L. Culture-dependent and –independent insights into microbial interactions in the sedimentary subsurface of two thermal areas in Yellowstone National Park. Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University, April 2016 (oral)
11. (invited) McKay L. Investigating the limits of life in the hydrothermal sediments of Guaymas Basin. Thermal Biology Institute, Montana State University, March 2015 (oral)
10. (invited) McKay L. High temperature microbial life in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments. NSF Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations, Network Seminar Series, May 2014 (oral)
9. McKay L, Klokman V, Teske A. How hot is too hot? An investigation of the upper thermal limit of life in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments. Ocean Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, HI, February 2014 (poster)
8. McKay L. Searching for the upper thermal limit of life in Guaymas Basin sediments. C-DEBI Annual Meeting, Marina, CA, October 2013 (oral)
7. McKay L, Klokman V, Mendlovitz H, Teske A. Thermal limitation of the anaerobic oxidation of methane in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 2012 (oral)
6. Joye S, Teske A, McKay L. Microbial biogeochemical dynamics in contrasting cold seep ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 2012 (oral)
5. McKay L, Klokman V, Mendlovitz H, Teske A. Predicting the limits of life in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments. Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations, All Hands Meeting, Marina, CA, October 2012 (poster)
4. McKay L, Klokman V, Teske A. Constraints on microbial biogeography in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments: physical stressors, energetic limits, and upward compression of metabolic zones. 2nd International Symposium on Microbial Life under Extreme Energy Limitation, Center for Geomicrobiology, Aarhus University, Denmark, May 2012 (poster)
3. McKay L, Biddle J, MacGregor B, Teske A.Spatial heterogeneity of orange and white Beggiatoa mats in the hydrothermal fields of Guaymas Basin.  ASLO/AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR, February 2010 (poster)
2. Biddle J, Cardman Z, McKay L, Teske A. Insights into orange Beggiatoa mats from the hydrothermal fields of Guaymas Basin. 109th ASM General Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, May 17th-21st,  2009 (poster)
1. McKay L, Raut S, Angus R. How long does vitellogenin mRNA persist in male mosquitofish once estrogen exposure stops? Honors Biology Symposium, UAB Biology Department, 2007 (poster)

Relevant Workshops & Training
SafeZone Training, Montana State University, 2017
Genomic Technologies Workshop, Joint Genome Institute, 2017
Genomics of Energy and the Environment Meeting
Anvi’o metagenomics training, University of Chicago, 2017
Laboratory of Dr. A. Murat Eren
DNA-SIP training, Heriot-Watt University, 2016
Laboratory of Dr. Tony Gutierrez
ECOGEO ‘Omics Course, University of Hawai’i, 2016
SafeZone training, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2013
Hopkins Microbiology Course, Stanford University, 2011

Honors
Antarctic Service Medal of the United States of America, 2013
National Science Foundation
Cum Laude, 2007
UAB
Phi Sigma Biological Honors Society, 2007
Biology Department, UAB

Academic activities
Seminar committee member, 2016 – 2018
Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University
President, 2010 – 2011
Graduate Action Group in Dept. of Marine Sciences, UNC-Chapel Hill

 Reviewed Papers For…
(Publons ID: publons.com/a/1186494/)
FEMS Microbiology Ecology, mSystems, Limnology and Oceanography, Frontiers in Microbiology, ISME Journal