Idaho National Laboratory Biological Systems

Research Staff

The INL Biological Systems department employs a workforce of highly talented scientists, including microbiologists, biochemists, molecular biologists, geochemists, hydrologists, and chemical engineers

John E. Aston, Ph.D. His research interests include the use of extremophilic microorganisms for the biotransformation of organic contaminants, immobilization of metals, and the production of value-added products. He is also interested in using metabolic modeling as a tool to better predict material and energy flows in microbial systems. 208-526-1851

Joni M. Barnes M.S. Her expertise includes the isolation and cultivation of microbes, biodegradation of environmental contaminants and instrumental analysis, including chromatography, spectroscopy, and light and laser confocal microscopy. Her work has included the investigation of microbial degradation of chlorinated solvents, studies of microbially catalyzed metal reduction, development of biological sensors and biological production of hydrogen. 208-526-0756

Mary Bingham She keeps the laboratories running smoothly. 208-526-4318

Cynthia Breckenridge, B.S. Primary areas of research include working with acidophiles in biomining and developing bioprocessing techniques in biomass recovery and conversion research. 208-526-4547

Debby F. Bruhn, M.S. Primary research has focused on microbial ecology of extreme environments, biohydrometallurgy, and biocorrosion in irradiated environments. 208-526-1941

Dayna L. Daubaras, Ph.D. Her areas of expertise are biotransformations of pharmaceutical drug intermediates and biochemical assay development for antimicrobial drug discovery. Present research activities involve characterization of enzymes derived from extremophilic microorganisms. 208-526-7152

Karen Delezene-Briggs Areas of research and procedural expertise include analytical chemistry, fungal and bacterial metabolism, and high-pressure vessels. Currently involved in bioenergy research, including laboratory compositional analysis and enzyme assays. 208-526-9477

Robert Fox, Ph.D. He has a broad level of experience in the areas of nanomaterials, photovoltaics, alternative fuels, biofuels and supercritical fluid chemistry. 208-526-7844

Sandra Fox, M.S. Primary focus includes oil field microbiology, surfactant and polymer producing organisms, and thermophilic organisms. 208-526-4985

Yoshiko Fujita, Ph.D. Her primary research focus is biogeochemistry in subsurface environments. She is interested in the characterization of microbial activity using cultivation-based and molecular techniques, and in the identification of metabolic products and intermediates. A major research thrust as been calcite precipitation facilitated by urea hydrolyzing microorganisms, and she has lead research in this area at scales ranging from the molecular to the field. More recently she has also been investigating the interactions of microorganisms with phosphate compounds and the potential for microbes to affect predications of geothermal reservoir temperatures. 208-526-1242

Daniel Ginosar, Ph.D. Technical interests include heterogeneous catalysis in supercritical fluids, catalyst deactivation and regeneration, solid acid catalysis, supercritical fluid synthesis of nano- and micron-scale materials, and catalysis in harsh environments. He has worked in the areas of catalytic upgrading of gasoline stocks (solid catalyst alkylation), chemical production, thermochemical water splitting cycles, waste to fuels, and environmental remediation and the production of nanomaterials from supercritical fluids. 208-526-9049

Mason Harrup, Ph.D. 208-526-1356

James Henriksen, Ph.D. He is interested in using novel culturing, molecular, and bioinformatics techniques to understand the metabolic capabilities of environmental microorganisms and applying these capabilities to solve problems. Research projects include the sequestration of subsurface groundwater contaminants by microbial precipitation of mincerals and the detection and impacts of environmental releases of nanoparticles. Other expertise includes genetic manipulation of environmental organisms, molecular detection tools, microbial culturing, enrichments, chemostats, enzyme assays, and bioinformatic analysis. 208-526-8190

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John Klaehn, Ph.D. 208-526-5238

Jeffrey A. Lacey, Ph.D. His research emphasis is on alternative energy and bioenergy research. He has used both plants and bacteria as research organisms and has advanced understanding of microarray technology and statistical analysis, molecular biology methods, and chemical separations using GC, HPLC, and CE. 208-526-7010

Brady Lee, M.S. Primary area of expertise is development of technologies to remove contaminants from air, water and soils. Contaminants of interest have included metals, radionuclides, chlorinated solvents and petroleum hydrocarbons. During this time, he has also developed and used molecular and proteomic techniques to monitor microbial populations in environmental media. 208-526-0981

Tedd Lister, Ph.D. He specializes in electrochemistry and corrosion science.  He has been involved in many research areas including aqueous and high temperature corrosion, electrocatalysis, surface analysis, energy storage, electrosynthesis and electrodeposition.  Current work is focused on developing electrochemical processes for energy and materials recycling. 208-526-4320

Amber Miller M.S. Primary research areas include culturing extremophiles and algae, molecular characterization of microbial communities, degradation of chlorinated compounds, oxidation of methane in aqueous/organic systems, and development of antibody-based biosensors. 208-526-1817

Chris Orme He has participated in the development and commercialization of polymeric materials for both industrial and governmental applications.  His work experience is in the areas of membrane based gas separations, liquid pervaporation, and novel polymeric membrane formation.  His research emphasis has varied from the most fundamental understanding of molecular interactions to developing pilot plant scale facilities.  His current research is focused on understanding of inter-and intra-molecular interactions that lead to interesting structure property relationships in a wide variety of polymer systems. 208-526-0092

Lucia Petkovic, Ph.D. Her expertise is centered on heterogeneous catalysis for energy and environment applications.  Her work has included research on production of synthetic fuels, biodiesel, and hydrogen.  She is highly skilled in numerous solid material characterization techniques such as diffuse reflectance infrared spectroscopy, physisorption and chemisoprtion of probe molecules, and temperature programmed analyses. 208-526-5033

David W. Reed, Ph.D. Research interests include: proteomic and genomic characterization of microorganisms from extreme environments important for bioenergy and bioremediation; the development of value added products and enzymes important in biomass conversion processes; the development of molecular methods for monitoring microbial activities. 208-526-7788.

Frank F. Roberto, Ph.D., CBSP He has extensive experience in the microbiology, physiology, and molecular biology of plant, animal, and human pathogens, acidophilic and thermophilic microbes, and industrial microorganisms. Interests include methane monooxygenase, chemolithotrophy, the microbial ecology of acidic natural and man-made environments, biohydrometallurgy, genotyping of biological threat agents, biosafety, bioremediation of explosives, high-throughput genomic technologies, and bioinformatics. 208-526-1096

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Harry Rollins, Ph.D. 208-526-4066

Heather Silverman, M.S. Primary areas of research include recombinant protein production, biosensors, bioenergy, and characterization of extreme microorganisms. 208-526-5187

William A. Smith, M.S. Environmental scientist with research experience developing biological processes for treating and monitoring environmental contamination and for producing value-added products from waste materials. Experiences include microbial metal transformations, soil and groundwater monitoring, and microbial fermentations using waste feedstocks. Currently working on projects exploring the effects of storage methods on the quality of lignocellulosic feedstocks for the production of fuel ethanol. 208-526-2220

Frederick Stewart, Ph.D. Research interests include polymer science, polyphosphazene chemistry, and membrane science.  Particular focus is on the development of novel materials for high energy lithium batteries, membranes for harsh chemical separations, and water purification. 208-526-8594

Mark Stone, Ph.D. He has extensive experience in the area of polymer materials, polymer adhesion, polymer membranes, semipermeable polymer membrane testing and characterization, and reinforced polymer composites.  He introduced and developed the technical capability for the INL of Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry (MIMS).  Recent research topics include forward and reverse osmosis, encapsulation, novel mass spec filament design, and advanced battery electrode development. 208-526-8664

David N. Thompson, Ph.D. Biochemical engineer with experience in the areas of chemical and biological transformations of renewable feedstocks and processing to value-added products. Primary areas of research include extremophilic enzymes and organisms, biomass pretreatments, and microbial fermentations of renewable and waste feedstocks. 208-526-3977

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Vicki Thompson, Ph.D. Research interests include proteomic analyses of environmental organisms and communities, characterization of enzymes from extremophilic organisms, and antibody-based forensic analysis. 208-526-8833

Michelle R. Walton, B.S. Her expertise includes the isolation and cultivation of microbes, biodegradation of environmental contaminants, instrumental analysis, and the use of molecular techniques to monitor microbial populations. Primary areas of research she has supported include carbon dioxide sequestration by cyanobacteria, microbial populations in mercury contaminated coal combustion byproducts, and genomics and metabolomics of acidophilic microorganisms. 208-526-6823

Lynn M Wendt, M.S. Currently focused on bioenergy research, specifically the feasibility of wet storage of biomass and compositional changes in the feedstock supply chain. 208-526-0479

Aaron Wilson, Ph.D. Since arriving at INL, he has developed separation technologies in the areas of gas streams, strategic and critical material, biologically produced materials, and water purification. He has developed and applied switchable polarity materials and solvents (SPM & SPS) to multiple challenges including the demonstration of a forward osmosis water treatment (SPS FO) process.  He also manages INL’s 400 and 600 MHz NMR with both liquids and solids capabilities. 208-526-1103


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