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Brian Hedlund

Associate Professor
School of Life Sciences
Office: WHI 315
Phone: 702-895-0809
Fax: 702-895-3956


Microbial Ecology, Microbial Genomics, Microbial Physiology, Microbial Taxonomy, Life at High Temperature

Additional Information

My research focuses on the ecology of life in high temperature habitats, particularly terrestrial hot springs. The study of high-temperature ecosystems (>73°C) is a major research frontier because temperature alters the ecology of these systems in ways that are profoundly important but poorly understood and because some springs are hot spots for novel, uncultivated organisms, so-called biological dark matter.

To work toward a comprehensive understanding of how individual microorganisms operate as parts of high temperature ecosystems, our group employs an integrated approach to microbial ecology, including thermodynamic modeling, spaciotemporal measurements of chemical species of interest in natural samples and microcosms, microbial cultivation and systematics, and genomics. This research will allow us to better understand the foundations of life in hot springs and expand our knowledge of the diversity of life on Earth.

Although much of our research focuses on hot springs of the U.S. Great Basin, we have recently expanded our work to other locations, particularly the Tengchong geothermal region of Yunnan Province in Southwest China. This work is part of the Tengchong PIRE project, which is a large international project funded by the National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) program. Goals of the PIRE project are to determine how geographic location and geological setting influence microbial community structure and function and to integrate complex datasets through international cooperation.

Selected Publications

  • Dodsworth, J. A., B. Hungate, J. de la Torre, H. Jiang, and B. P. Hedlund. 2011. Measuring nitrification, denitrification, and related biomarkers in continental geothermal ecosystems. Meth. Enzymol. 486: 171-203.
  • Dodsworth, J. A., L. Li, S. Wei, B. P. Hedlund, J. A. Leigh, and P. de Figueiredo. 2010. Inter-domain conjugal transfer of DNA from Bacteria to Archaea. Appl. Env. Microbiol. 76: 5644-5647.
  • Lefèvre, C. T., F. Abreu, M. L. Schmidt, U. Lins, R. B. Frankel, B. P. Hedlund, and D. A. Bazylinski. 2010. Moderately thermophilic magnetotactic bacteria from hot springs in Nevada USA. Appl. Env. Microbiol. 76: 3740-3743.
  • Vick, T. J., J. A. Dodsworth, K. C. Costa, E. L. Shock, and B. P. Hedlund. 2010. Microbiology and geochemistry of Little Hot Creek, a hot spring environment in the Long Valley Caldera. Geobiology 8: 140-154.
  • Costa, K. C., J. B. Navarro, E. L. Shock, C. Zhang, D. Soukup, and B. P. Hedlund. 2009. Microbiology and geochemistry of Great Boiling and Mud Hot Springs in the United States Great Basin. Extremophiles 13: 447-459.
  • Elkins, J. G., V. Kunin, I. Anderson, K. Barry, E. Goltsman, A. Lapidus, B. P. Hedlund, P. Hugenholtz, N. Kyrpides, D. Graham, M. Keller, G. Wanner, P. Richardson, and K. O. Stetter. 2008. A korarchaeal genome reveals insights into the evolution of archaea. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 105: 8102-8107.
  • Zhang, C. L., Qi Ye, Z. Huang, W.-J. Li, J. Chen, Z. Song, W. Zhao, C. Bagwell, W.P. Inskeep, L. Gao, J. Wiegel, C. Romanek, and B. P. Hedlund. 2008. Global occurrence and biogeography of putative archaeal amoA genes in terrestrial hot springs. Appl Environ. Microbiol. 74: 6417-26.
  • Costa, K. C., D. P. Moser, J. Hallmark, J. B. Navarro, D. Soukup, S. LaBahn, and B. P. Hedlund. 2008. Diversity of heterotrophic microorganisms and geochemistry in two ephemeral desert playa lakes. Geomicrobiol. J. 25:250-259.
  • Navarro, J. B., Andrea Flores, C. Ross, M. R. Rosen, H. Dong, G. Zhang, D. P. Moser, and B. P. Hedlund. Microbial community succession in an ephemeral hypereutrophic Mojave Desert playa lake. In press. Microbial Ecology.
  • Huang, Z., B. P. Hedlund, J. Wiegel, J. Zhou, and C. L. Zhang. 2007. Molecular phylogeny of uncultivated Crenarchaeota in Great Basin hot springs of moderately elevated temperature. Geomicrobiol. J. 24: 535-542.
  • Stetter, K.O., M.J. Hohn, H. Huber, R. Rachel, E. Mathur, B. P. Hedlund, U. Jahn. 2005. A novel kingdom of parasitic archaea. In W.P. Inskeep and T.R. McDermott (eds.) Geothermal Biology and Geochemistry in Yellowstone National Park, Montana State University Publications, Bozeman, MT, USA. pp. 249-259.
  • R., Reinhart, M. Bettstetter, B. P. Hedlund, M. Häring, A. Kessler, K. O. Stetter, and D. Prangishvili. 2002. Remarkable morphological diversity of viruses and virus-like particles in hot terrestrial environments. Arch Virol. 147: 2419-2429.
  • Hohn, M. J., B. P. Hedlund, and H. Huber. 2002. Detection of 16S rDNA sequences representing the novel phylum “Nanoarchaeota”: indication for a world-wide distribution in high temperature biotopes. Syst Appl Microbiol. 25: 551-554.
  • Jenkins, C., R. Samudrala, I. Armstrong, B. P. Hedlund, G. Petroni, N. Michailova, N. Pinel, R. Overbeek, G. Rosati, and J. T. Staley. 2002. Genes for the cytoskeletal protein tubulin in the bacterial genus Prosthecobacter. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 99: 17049-17054.
  • Hedlund, B. P., A. D. Geiselbrecht, T. J. Bair, and J. T. Staley. 1999. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation by a new marine bacterium, Neptunomonas naphthovorans gen. nov., sp. nov. Appl Env Microbiol. 65: 251-259.
  • Hedlund, B. P., J. J. Gosink, and J. T. Staley. 1997. Verrucomicrobia div. nov., a new division of the bacteria containing three new species of Prosthecobacter. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 72: 29-38.