MIT EAPS Directory

Michael Follows

Professor, Director of the MIT/WHOI Joint Program
Secondary Appointment - Civil and Environmental Engineering

Mick Follows seeks to understand how the interactions of physical, chemical and biological processes modulate the structure and function of marine microbial communities and regulate the oceanic cycles of carbon and nutrient elements on global and climate scales. Using idealized theory, numerical models and the analysis of observed data he and his group seek to identify the relationships of individuals and communities to their environment, connecting cellular-scale processes to global microbial community structure. In particular, his team has created a marine ecosystem model that, when initialized with many phytoplankton types whose physiological traits have been determined stochastically, results in emergent community structure and biogeography consistent with known distributions of microbes in the global oceans.

Follows joined the MIT faculty in 2013. He is a lead on the MIT Darwin Project.



For a list of most recent publications, see here

Google Scholar Profile


Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology (2013) | MIT Global Habitat Longevity Award (2006) | Royal Society European Exchange Post-doctoral Fellowship (1991)

Contact Information

t: 617 253-5939





Ph.D., School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, 1991
M.Sc., Atmospheric Sciences (with Distinction) School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, 1987
B.Sc., Physics (with Honors, Class 1) Department of Physics, University of Leeds, UK

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