Professor, Department Chair
Office: Bldg. 21 room 229
- biodegradation of organic compounds
- soil microbial ecology
- nutrient cycling
- wetland ecology
- Chair, Department of Biological Sciences,
Northern Arizona University 2006-present
- Professor of Microbiology, Northern Arizona
- Professor of Microbiology, Idaho State
- NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, University of New
Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 1987-1991
- PhD Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens,
- BS Microbiology, University of Georgia , Athens
, G A, 1981
Our laboratory uses a variety of molecular and functional
methods to estimate species diversity, examine how microbial communities
interact with various environmental components, and explore linkages between
community structure and function.
We are also actively developing new techniques to detect
specific microbial activities in the environment.
We have been involved in research relating to the
bioremediation of chlorinated solvents for over a decade, and a major thrust of
this research has been to develop and assess enzyme activity-dependent probes
specific for enzymes involved in the aerobic cometabolism of solvents, such as
We are also investigating microbial communities and their
roles in nutrient cycling in environments such as Fossil Creek, a travertine
stream in central Arizona.
Specifically, we are using real time PCR to estimate gene
copy number for genes involved in nitrogen transformations and linking this
information to shifts in microbial communities.
Ultimately we hope to relate this data to process level measurements.
I am also a mentor in the NSF IGERT graduate training program;
NAU’s IGERT PhD program seeks to identify key links between genes and the
environment and is designed to train exceptional graduate students in molecular
genetics, environmental sciences, and spatio-temporal modeling.
Lee, M.H., Clingenpeel, S.C., Leiser, O.P., Wymore, R.A.,
Sorenson, Jr., K.S., and M.E. Watwood. 2008. Activity-Dependent Labeling of
Oxygenase Enzymes in a Trichloroethene-Contaminated Groundwater Site.
Environmental Pollution 153 (1): 238-246.
Wymore, R.A., M.H. Lee, W.K. Keener, A.R. Miller, F.S.
Colwell, M.E. Watwood, and K.S. Sorenson, Jr.
2007. Filed Evidence for Intrinsic Aerobic Chlorinated Ethene Cometabolism
by Methanotrophs Expressing sMMO. Bioremediation Journal 11(3): 125-139.
Lee, M.H., J.L. Keams, D.W. Helzer, O.P. Leiser, S.A.
Connon, T.A. Magnuson and M.E. Watwood. 2007. Characterization of viral and
prokaryotic communities in Alvord Desert Hot Springs, Oregon. Aquatic Microbial
Gresham, T. L., P. P. Sheridan, M. E. Watwood,
Y. Fujita, and F. S. Colwell. 2007. Design and validation of ureC-based primers
for groundwater detection of urea-hydrolyzing bacteria. Geomicrobiology