Welcome to Dr. Melanie R. Mormile´s Web-Pages!


Halomonas campisalis (picture 1)  Halomonas campisalis (picture 2)

These are images of Halomonas campisalis, an alkaliphilic, halotolerant bacterium, that was isolated from a salt plain located near Soap Lake, Washington. This bacterium grows best at pH 9.5 and a salt concentration of 12.5%.



Research Interests


My research focus is on environmental microbiology. Our lab has focused on the study of the microbial ecology of environments that are hostile to life, as most humans know it. The microorganisms that survive and thrive in these environments are known as extremophiles. We have concentrated on the study of extremophiles in saline environments, especially Soap Lake, Washington and the saline, acidic lakes of Australia.

Our lab also studies the microbial ecology of swine lagoons. Research on these environments has included studies on negative impacts on methanogenesis and antibiotic resistance.

To find out more about what is going on in the lab, please click below.


Environmental Microbiology Lab 

Amber and Pedro in the lab
Amber Stratman and Pedro Dimitriu


Grants to Date List of Publications


Teaching Interests


Environmental Microbiology

During this course, we explore microbial activity in the environment, the impact microbes have and how this can affect human health and welfare. Topics covered include microbial growth and metabolic kinetics, life in extreme conditions, biogeochemical cycling, bioremediation of contaminants, waterborne pathogens and environmental biotechnology. A recent syllabus can be found here. A laboratory is now offered along with the lecture. Its syllabus can be found here.



Bioremediation is the use of living organisms for the biodegradation or biotransformation of environmental contaminants. This is a multidisciplinary field. For a successful bioremediation effort to happen, it requires the combined skills and talents of microbiologists, civil and environmental engineers, and geologists. A recent syllabus can be found here.


Advanced Microbial Metabolism (co-taught with Dr. David Westenberg)

During this course, the students will learn to define and use appropriate terminology to describe metabolic processes, distinguish diverse microorganisms according to their physiological characteristic, give explanations for how bioenergetics can drive or limit metabolic activity, describe the role of classes of microorganisms in various habitats, develop an awareness of the impact that microbial processes have on the biosphere, explain the role of microbes in the evolution of life on earth, to read and interpret current literature in the field of microbial metabolism, and predict how microbial populations can be manipulated to perform specific processes. A recent syllabus can be found here.



The origins of life on early earth and the possilbility of life on extraterrestrial bodies is explored in this course through lectures and journal article discussions. In addition, the means to study extraterrestrial environments are also considered. A recent syllabus can be found here.


Introduction to Biological Sciences

This course is for our incoming Freshmen Biological Science majors to introduce them to the department and give them the tools to successfully complete their degree. A recent syllabus can be found here.


Caribbean Biodiversity (co-taught with Dr. Anne Maglia)

This course focuses on factors leading to the enhancement or reduction of biodiversity as well as modern techniques used to measure and monitor biodiversity. Topics discussed include biogeography, community structures, competition, predation, modeling food webs, geological influences on biology, environmental change, and human impact. A recent syllabus can found here.


Women as Global Leaders (co-taught with Ms Cecilia Elmore)

A number of opportunities are provided through this course. Students have the opportunities to assess their leadership skill, to hear and learn from leaders of local, national and international reputation, to practice their leadership skills in project work, locally and (if they wish) internationally, as well as to network with recognized leaders and each other. A recent syllabus can be found here.



Where Iíve Been


University of Cincinnati 

United States Environmental Protection Agency in Cincinnati 

University of Louisville 

University of Oklahoma 

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 



Where Iím Now


Dr. Melanie R. Mormile
Associate Professor
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Department of Biological Sciences
Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering
400 W. 11th St.
105 Schrenk Hall
Rolla, MO 65409-1120

Office: 573-341-6346
Fax: 573-341-4821
e-mail: mmormile@mst.edu
Web-page: http://www.mst.edu/~mmormile

Please note: As of January 1st 2008, the University of Missouri-Rolla was renamed the Missouri University of Science and Technology. My e-mail address is now mmormile@mst.edu.


Last Updated: December 30, 2007



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