All Things Microbial Group

Laboratory News

With the onset of the '14/'15 academic year, we celebrate the completion of Victoria Work’s Ph.D. thesis entitled, "Metabolic and Physiological Engineering of Photosynthetic Microorganisms for the Synthesis of Bioenergy Feedstocks: Development, Characterization and Optimization." Congratulations Dr. Work!

At the close of the '13/'14 academic year, we celebrated the completion of two great Ph.D. theses! Dr. Lee Elliot graduated in December after completing his thesis entitled, "The Establishment and Characterization of a Bioenergy-Focused Microalgal Culture Collection using High-Throughput Metdologies." Dr. Linda Battalora graduated in May after defending her thesis entitled, "Bones, Fractures, Antiretroviral Therapy and HIV." Lee moved on to a job in industry and Linda continues on here at the Colorado School of Mines as a member of the Teaching Faculty. Congratulations to Drs. Elliot and Battalora!

Over the Fall of 2012 we had Chuck Pepe-Raney successfully defended his thesis entitled, "Microbial Diversity of a Modern Stromatolite Analog in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming in the Context of Microbial Alpha and Beta Diversity along Yellowstone Geothermal Outfalls" who moved on to a postdoc position at Cornell University. We also had Chase Willamson successfully defend his thesis entitled, "An Investigation of Microbial Diversity and Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion in Automotive Fuel Environments" and he moved on to a postdoc position at Northern Arizona University. Both of these projects were wonderful to work on and think about over several years. The best thing for Chuck and Chase is that they are now Dr.s! Congratulations!

In August of 2012 Phylicia Saner defended her Masters Thesis entitled, "Microbial Analysis of the Niobrara Formation for Microbially Enhanced Oil Recovery and Contaminant Tracing Application." This geobiologically focused and relevant thesis examined the subsurface microbiota associated with the Niobrara formation and was made possible with the combined efforts of Phylicia working with Shannon Ulrich. Phylicia now works at Occidental Petroleum--congratulations to Phylicia!

In May of 2012, Jackson Lee completed his Ph.D. Thesis, "A Molecular Biology Approach to the Study of Single Cell Protein Produced from Brewery Wastewater." Congratulations Dr. Jackson Lee!! Jackson is now a postdoc at NASA Ames, Moffat Field, California, working with Dr. Brad Bebout.

Read a Feature Story in Energy and the Earth: Colorado School of Mines Research 2014-2015 entitled "Where Biology and Engineering Meet" ( pg. 33.

Read a Feature Story in the Winter 2012 Mines Magazine, "Engineering on a Grand Scale with the Smallest of the Small," ( an accompanying editorial by Nick Sutcliffe, Editor of Mines Magazine ( and a Podcast of John Spear's featured talk of his research group's work (

A comment from Spear, who works with heavy metals, radionuclides and their interaction with microbes, on the subject of radionuclides found in southern Colorado drinking water can be found at (

Read a feature story on John Spear from Colorado School of Mines newspaper, The Oredigger, “John Spear, an Active Engineer."

Our Laboratory

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student in lab

student in lab students in lab

The Fish Food Project

Single Cell Protein from a Wastewater Stream, Rumbles, November 2008 (PDF)

Beer Waste Brewing Fish Food, Rocky Mountain News, 14 December 2007 (link)

Colorado Company to Convert Wastewater to Fish Feed, Seafood Currents, 17 December 2007 (PDF)

Happy New Year! Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Notes, 2 January 2008 (PDF)

Colorado Company to Make Fish Food from Beer Wastewater, Colorado Matters (Public Radio), 16 January 2008 (link)

International Geobiology Course

Geobiology, changing the face of Geology, Mines Magazine, Fall 2008 (link)

From the Colorado School of Mines, Energy and the Earth, Research 2013-2014 Magazine see, “Geobiology Course in Four States in Five Weeks,”


Diving Robot Discovers Life in the Slow Lane, Astrobiology Magazine, 5 August 2010 link

Swimming to Europa, IEEE Spectrum, September, 2007 link or PDF

Robo Explorer Goes Deep, Cosmic Log, February 28, 2007 link

Science Magazine, News Focus, 19 January 2007 PDF or link

Pulse of the Planet, heard on National Public Radio, August - September, 2007

Robot Dives Deep for Sinkhole Slime, Astrobiology Magazine, 25 June 2007 link

NASA in Deep Water, Mines Magazine, Spring-Summer, 2007 link

NASA Probes Sinkhole as Proxy for Icy Moon, Reuters, 18 May 2007 link

NASA Mission Explores World's Deepest Sinkhole,, 14 May 2007 link

Mexican Sinkhole may Lead NASA to Jupiter, Washington Post, 14 May 2007 link

Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL)

Newsday, 24 December 2006 link


Hydrogen in Yellowstone:
Discover Magazine, #62 in the Top 100 Science Stories of 2005, January 2006: link

Billings Gazette, 26 January 2005: link

Endoliths in Yellowstone: Billings Gazette, 22 April 2005: link

National Public Radio
"The DNA Files--Life in Hell," Nationwide Broadcast, November 2001. link

Guerrero Negro / Evaporites

Long Live the Salt of the Earth, Science Magazine, 24 May 2002: link

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