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.
Clingenpeel S., J. Moan, D. M.
Conley, B. A. Hungate, M. E. Watwood. 2012. Stable carbon isotope fractionation
in chlorinated ethene degradation by bacteria expressing three toluene oxygenases. Frontiers in Microbiology 3: 00063. URL=http://www.frontiersin.org/microbio
Woods, A., M. Watwood, and E. Schwartz. 2011. Identification Of a Toluene-degrading Bacterium From a Soil Sample Through H218O DNA-Stable Isotope Probing. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 77:5995-5999.
Harrop, B., J. Marks, and M. Watwood. 2009. Environmental Controls on Bacterial and Fungal Communities in Fossil Creek, a Travertine Stream in Arizona. Journal of the North American Benthological Association 28(2):383-396.
Marks, J. C., G. A. Haden, B. Harrop, E. G. Reese, J. L. Keams, M. E. Watwood, and T. G. Whitham. 2009. Genetic and Environmental Controls of Microbial Communities on Leaf Litter in Streams. Freshwater Biology 54:2616-2627.
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.
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 Journal. 24:353-364.
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 Ecology 48:19-26.
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.