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Allan Konopka, Ph.D.


Allan Konopka
Allan Konopka

Allan Konopka is a microbial ecologist who serves as Director of Microbiology in PNNL's Biological Sciences Division.

He came to PNNL after 30 years as a Professor of Biological Sciences at Purdue University. His research has focused on diverse microbial habitats, including aquatic, surface and subsurface soils, and upon the ecology of both photoautotrophic and chemoheterophic microorganisms. He has investigated the role of microbes upon the fate and transport of both organic xenobiotic compounds and inorganic metals. These studies have had scopes ranging from analysis of microbial community composition and activity in natural samples to physiological and molecular analyses of microbes isolated from natural habitats. At PNNL, he is leading efforts on analysis of microbial communities and the development of novel technologies to develop a mechanistic understanding of microbial community ecology.

This area of research requires cross-disciplinary cooperation, and Konopka has performed collaborative research with limnologists, hydrologists, environmental chemists, soil physicists, geologists, envrionmental engineers and chemical engineers. Experimental analyses have been carried out on field sites (such as freshwater aquatic ecosystems and subsurface sediments), in laboratory microcosms, and upon pure cultures of microbes.

Konopka has authored or co-authored approximately 100 peer-reviewed publications in journals for microbiology and microbial ecology. He has also published several materials related to undergraduate education in microbiology, including software used to simulate laboratory exercises in microbiology.

Research Interests

  • Physiological ecology of microbes in natural and engineered ecosystems
  • Microbial community ecology
  • Continuous culture of microorganisms
  • Subsurface microbiology
  • Mathematical modeling of microbial processes

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Washington, 1975
  • M.S., Microbiology, University of Washington, 1973
  • B.S., Microbiology, University of Illinois, 1971

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Sigma Xi
  • International Society for Microbial Ecology
  • Serves on editorial boards for Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology

Awards and Recognitions

  • Fulbright Scholar
  • Fogarty International Senior Fellow
  • Erskine Fellow
  • Elected to the American Academy of Microbiology

Selected Publications

Henne KL, JE Turse, CD Nicora, MS Lipton, SL Tollaksen, C Lindberg, G Babnigg, CS Giometti, CH Nakatsu, DK Thompson and A Konopka. 2009. "Global Proteomic Analysis of the Chromate Response in Arthrobacter sp. Strain FB24." J. Proteome Res., DOI: 10.1021/pr800705f.

Jerke K, CH Nakatsu, F Beasley, and A Konopka. 2008. "Comparative analysis of eight Arthrobacter plasmids." Plasmid 59: 73-85.

Young J, K Henne, J Morgan, A Konopka, and D Ramkrishna. 2008. "Integrating cybernetic modeling with pathway analysis provides a dynamic, systems-level description of metabolic control." Biotechnol. Bioengineer. DOI 10.1002/bit. 21780. Online, February, 2008.

Hill KA, PB Shepson, ES Galbavy, C Anastasio, PS Kourtev, A Konopka, and BH Stirm. 2007. "Processing of atmospheric nitrogen by clouds above a forest environment." J. Geophys. Res. 112: D11301.

Kourtev PS, CH Nakatsu, and A Konopka. 2006. "Anaerobic bacterial community responses to organic C addition in chromium (VI) and iron (III) amended microcosms." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 72: 628-637.

Contact Information

Systems Biology at PNNL

Research & Capabilities