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Research MicrobiologistContact Info
Dr. Denise M. Akob is a microbial ecologist whose research focuses on understanding how microorganisms impact their environment and biogeochemical cycles and in turn, how an environment impacts microorganisms, She investigates both contaminated and pristine environments. Her focus is primarily on bioremediation and natural attenuation in lakes, soils, and terrestrial sediments, and the geomicrobiology of pristine aquifers caves, pitcher plants, and salt marshes.
Dr. Akob received her undergraduate degree in Biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She completed her PhD in Biogeochemical Oceanography from Florida State University in 2008 and was a post-doctoral research fellow at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany from 2008-2012. Dr. Akob joined the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Research Program in 2012. For more information please visit the Reston Microbiology Lab website.
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PublicationsRisse-Buhl, U., M. Herrmann, D. M. Akob, P. Geesink, N. Pizani, W. Schönborn, K.-U. Totsche and K. Küsel. 2012 Phagotrophic protist diversity in the groundwater of a karstified aquifer - morphological and molecular analysis. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 60(5): 467–479. [Link]
Keiner, R., A. Rusznyak, D. M. Akob, S. Hanf, K. Küsel, J. Popp, and T. Frosch. 2013. Raman spectroscopy – an innovative and versatile tool to follow the respirational activity and carbonate biomineralization of important cave bacteria. Analytical Chemistry, 85(18): 8708–8714. [Link]
Fabisch, M., F. Beulig, D. M. Akob, and K. Küsel. 2013. Surprising abundance of Gallionella-related iron oxidizers in creek sediments at pH 4.4 or at high heavy metal concentrations. Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology, 4: 390 [Link]
Rusznyák, A., D. M. Akob, S. Nietzsche, K. Eusterhues, K. U. Totsche, T. R. Neu, T. Frosch, J. Popp, R. Keiner, J. Geletneky, L. Katzschmann, E.-D. Schulze, and K. Küsel. 2012. Calcite biomineralization by bacterial isolates from the recently discovered pristine karstic Herrenberg Cave. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78(4): 1157–1167. [Link]
Akob, D. M.*, S. H. Lee*, M. Sheth, K. Küsel, D. B. Watson, A. V. Palumbo, J. E. Kostka, and K.-J.Chin. 2012. Gene expression correlates with process rates quantified for sulfate- and Fe(III)-reducing bacteria in U(VI)-contaminated sediments. Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology 3:280. *Equal contribution [Link]
Akob, D. M. and K. Küsel. 2011. Where microorganisms meet rocks in the Earth's Critical Zone. Biogeosciences 8: 3531-3543. [Link]
Akob, D. M., L. Kerkhof, K. Küsel, D. B. Watson, A. V. Palumbo, and J. E. Kostka. 2011. Linking specific heterotrophic bacterial populations to bioreduction of uranium and nitrate using stable isotope probing in contaminated subsurface sediments. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77(22): 8197–8200. [Link]
Burkhardt, E.-M., S. Bischoff, D. M. Akob, G. Büchel, and K. Küsel. 2011. Heavy metal tolerance of Fe(III)-reducing microbial communities in a contaminated creek bank soil. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77(9): 3132-3136. [Link]
Lu, S., S. Gischkat, M. Reiche, D. M. Akob, K. B. Hallberg, and K. Küsel. 2010. Ecophysiology of Fe-cycling Bacteria in Acidic Sediments. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76 (24): 8174-8183. [Link]
Vishnivetskaya, T. A., C. C. Brandt, A. S. Madden, M. S. Drake, J. E. Kostka, D. M. Akob, K. Küsel, and A. V. Palumbo. 2010. Microbial Community Changes in Response to Ethanol or Methanol Amendments for U(VI) Reduction. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76(17): 5728-5735. [Link]
Sitte, J., D. M. Akob, C. Kaufmann, K. Finster, D. Banerjee, E.-M. Burkhardt, J. E. Kostka, A. Scheinost, G. Büchel and K. Küsel. 2010. Microbial Links between Sulfate Reduction and Metal Retention in Uranium and Heavy Metal-contaminated Soil. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76(10): 3143–3152. [Link]
Green, S. J., O. Prakash, T. M. Gihring, D. M. Akob, P. Jasrotia, P. M. Jardine, D. B. Watson, S. D. Brown, A. V. Palumbo and J. E. Kostka. 2010. Denitrifying bacteria from the terrestrial subsurface exposed to mixed waste contamination. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76(10): 3244–3254. [Link]
Burkhardt, E.-M., D. M. Akob, S. Bischoff, J. Sitte, J. E. Kostka, D. Banerjee, A. C. Scheinost, K. Küsel. 2010. Impact of Biostimulated Redox Processes on Metal Dynamics in an Iron-rich Creek Soil of a former Uranium Mining Area. Environmental Science & Technology 44(1): 177-183. [Link]
Prakash, O., T. M. Gihring, D. D. Dalton, K.-J. Chin, S. J. Green, D. M. Akob, G. Wanger, and J. E. Kostka. 2010. Geobacter daltonii sp. nov., an iron(III)- and uranium(VI)-reducing bacterium isolated from the shallow subsurface exposed to mixed heavy metal and hydrocarbon contamination. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 60(3): 546-553. [Link]
Akob, D. M., H. J. Mills, T. M Gihring, L. Kerkhof, J. W. Stucki, A. S. Anastacío, K.-J.Chin, K. Kusel, A. V. Palumbo, D. B. Watson, and J. E. Kostka. 2008. Functional Diversity and Electron Donor Dependence of Microbial Populations Capable of U(VI) Reduction in Radionuclide-Contaminated Subsurface Sediments. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74(10): 3159-3170. [Link]
Blöthe, M., D. M. Akob, K. Walter, J.E. Kostka, H. L. Drake, and K. Küsel. 2008. Heterogeneity of Fe(III)-reducing microorganisms in coal-mining lake sediments caused by a pH gradient. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74(4): 1019–1029. [Link]
Akob, D. M., H. J. Mills, & J. E. Kostka. 2007. Metabolically active microbial communities in uranium-contaminated subsurface sediments. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 59:95-107. [Link]
Diaz, M. C., D. Akob, & C. S. Cary. 2004. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of nitrifying microbes associated with tropical sponges. Proceedings of the 6th International Sponge Conference, Rapallo, Italy, 2002. Bollettino dei Musei e degli Istituti biologici dell'Università di Genova 68: 279–289.
My Science Topics
Microbial Ecology and Geomicrobiology
My work aims to understand how microorganisms mediate biogeochemical processes, affect the fate of contaminants in ecosystems, and contribute to the transformation of metals and minerals. In my work I combine methods from numerous disciplines including microbial cultivation (aerobic and anaerobic), molecular biology techniques, and geochemical methods. My research program concerns 1) the cycling of metals such as iron, uranium, and manganese in natural and contaminated systems and 2) illuminating unseen microbial biodiversity in natural systems such as caves, aquifers, and carnivorous plants.
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