Bruce Fouke




Bruce Fouke is a Professor in Geology, Microbiology, and the Carl R. Woese Institute for
Genomic Biology, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He also serves as
Director of the Illinois Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center. Bruce completed his B.Sc. at
Bradley University, M.Sc. degrees at the University of Iowa and the University of
Chicago, and his Ph.D. at Stony Brook University. He then completed postdoctoral
appointments at the Free University Amsterdam, the University of California Berkeley,
and Exobiology at NASA Ames Research Center. He was recently chosen as the
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Roy M. Huffington
Distinguished Lecturer for the Asia-Pacific Region, during which he lectured in India,
Japan, China, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand. Bruce has held professorships at
Lund University, Sweden, and the Illinois Center for Advanced Studies, and has active
adjunct faculty appointments at the Thermal Biology Institute at Montana State
University and the Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity Laboratory on
Curaçao. He serves on multiple science panels at NSF, DOE, NASA and the European
Science Foundation. Results from his scientific research have been reported on in
National Geographic, the New York Times, and National Public Radio.


American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Distinguished Lecturer, North America Region, February-April 2015, lectured on cutting-edge applications of oil field geobiology at University of California Berkeley, Oklahoma State University and Tulsa University; American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Roy M. Huffington Distinguished Lecturer, Asia-Pacific Region, October–November 2014, lectured on cutting-edge applications of oil field geobiology in India, Japan, China, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand; Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2013); Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Office of the Provost, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2013); Science Advisory Panel and Science Steering Committee, European Science Foundation (ESF), Committee for Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences, COCARDE-ERN (2011 to present); Faculty Fellow, Samuel von Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies, Lund University, Lund, Sweden (2011); King Broadrick-Allen Award for Excellence in Honors Teaching, Campus Honors Program, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2010); Research Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Coral Reef Biocomplexity (2002); Research Fellow, Center for Petroleum Research, Instituto Mexicano del Petróleos (IMP/Pemex), Mexico City, Mexico (2000 - 2002); Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, campus wide recognition, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (1997 to 2014) 


Our laboratory research group focuses on the cross-disciplinary intersection of geology
and molecular microbiology (Geobiology), with emphasis on the emergence and survival
of Life within the context of dynamic Earth processes. Results have direct application to
a wide variety of pressing societal interests that range from energy and human medicine
to environmental sustainability and space exploration. Our active research projects
include studies of: (1) applications of sedimentology, geochemistry and molecular
microbiology to oil and gas exploration and production; (2) quantification of the rate,
mode and tempo of microbial evolution in response to steep gradients using a
microfluidic test bed called the GeoBioCell; (3) the control of sea surface temperature on
coral reef ecosystems, coral skeleton synthesis and the global emergence of infectious
marine diseases; (4) the response of heat-loving (thermophilic) bacteria to changes in hot-
spring flow rate, chemistry and temperature; (5) the timing and hydrology of the last flow
of water in ancient Roman aqueducts; and (6) understanding human kidney stone
formation with integrated geobiology approaches.


  • 2017
    • Motta, D., Keenan-Jones, D., Garcia, M. H. & Fouke, B. W., Hydraulic Evaluation of the Design and Operation of Ancient Rome’s Anio Novus Aqueduct. Archaeometry 2017.
    • Palmer, C. L., Thomer, A. K., Baker, K. S., Wickett, K. M., Hendrix, C. L., Rodman, A., Sigler, S. & Fouke, B. W., Site-based data curation based on hot spring geobiology. PLoS ONE 2017, 12, 3, e0172090.
  • 2016
    • Dong, Y., Chang, Y. J., Sanford, R. A. & Fouke, B. W., Draft genome sequence of Tepidibacillus decaturensis strain Z9, an anaerobic, moderately thermophilic, and heterotrophic bacterium from the deep subsurface of the Illinois Basin, USA. Genome Announcements 2016, 4, 2, e00190-16.
    • Dong, Y., Sanford, R. A., Boyanov, M. I., Kemner, K. M., Flynn, T. M., O’Loughlin, E. J., Chang, Y. J., Locke, R. A., Weber, J. R., Egan, S. M., Mackie, R. I., Cann, I. & Fouke, B. W., Orenia metallireducens sp. nov. strain Z6, a novel metal-reducing member of the phylum firmicutes from the deep subsurface. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2016, 82, 21, 6440-6453.
    • Srivastava, V., Weber, J. R., Malm, E., Fouke, B. W. & Bulone, V., Proteomic analysis of a poplar cell suspension culture suggests a major role of protein S-acylation in diverse cellular processes. Frontiers in Plant Science 2016, 7, 477.
    • Dong, Y., Sanford, R. A., Boyanov, M. I., Kemner, K. M., Flynn, T. M., O’Loughlin, E. J., Locke, R. A., Weber, J. R., Egan, S. M. & Fouke, B. W., Tepidibacillus decaturensis sp. nov., a microaerophilic, moderately thermophilic iron-reducing bacterium isolated from 1.7 km depth groundwater. Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 2016, 66, 10, 3964-3971, 001295.
  • 2015
    • Singh, R., Sanford, R., Werth, C. and Fouke, B.W., Metabolism Induced CaCO3 Biomineralization during Reactive Transport in Porous Media: Implication for Porosity Alteration. Environmental Science and Technology 2015, 49, 20, 12094-12104.
    • Keenan-Jones, D., Motta, D., Garcia, M.H., and Fouke, B.W., Travertine-based estimates of the amount of water supplied by ancient Rome’s Anio Novus aqueduct. Journal of Archaeological Science 2015, 3:1-10.
  • 2014
    • Dong, Y., Sanford, R.A., Boyanov, M.I., Kemner, K.M., Flynn, T.M., O’Loughlin, E.J., Cann, I.K.O., Mackie, R.I., Locke II, R.A., Weber, J.R., Egan, S.M., and Fouke, B.W., Feoxide grain coatings support bacterial Fe-reducing metabolisms in1.7-2.0 km-deep subsurface quartz arenite sandstone reservoirs of the Illinois Basin (USA), Frontiers in Microbiology 2014, 5, 511:1-16. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00511.
    • Piceno, Y., Dubinsky, E., Reid, F., Tom, L., Hu, P., Conrad, M., Bill, M., Hubbard, C., Fouke, B.W., Graff, C., Han, J., Stringfellow, W., Hanlon, J., Hazen, T., and Andersen, G., Temperature and sulfate availability structure microbial communities in four Alaskan North Slope hydrocarbon reservoirs. Frontiers in Microbiology 2014, 5, 511:1-16.DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00511.
    • Fouke, B.W., 2014, A Sense of the Earth. In Eds. Winkelmes, M.A., and Burton, A., An Illinois Sampler, University of Illinois Press, 1-7
    • Gust, K.A., Najar, F.Z., Habib, T., Lotufo, G.R., Fouke, B.W., Piggot, A.M., Laird, J.G., Wilbanks, M.S., Rawat, A., Indest, K.J., Roe, B.A., and Perkins, E.J., Coral- Zooxanthellae meta-transcriptomics reveals integrated response to pollutant stress, BMC 9 Genomics 2014, 15:591.
    • Sivaguru, M., Fried, G.A., Miller, C.H., and Fouke, B.W., Multimodal Optical Microscopy Methods Reveal Polyp Tissue Morphology and Structure in Caribbean Reef Building Corals. Journal of Visualized Experiments (91), 2014, e51824, DOI:10.3791/51824.
    • Dong, Y., Kumar, C.G., Chia, N., Kim, P.J., Miller, P., Price, N.D., Cann, I.O., Flynn, T.M., Sanford, R.A., Krapac, I.G., Locke, R.A., Hong, P.Y., Tamaki, H., Liu, W.T., Hernandez, A.G., Wright, C.L., Mikel, M.A., Walker, J.L., Sivaguru, M., Fried, G., Yannearell, A., Mackie, R.I., and Fouke, B.W., Halomonas sulfidaeris-dominated microbial community inhabits 1.8 km-deep subsurface Cambrian Sandstone reservoir. Environmental Microbiology 2014, 15(12):1-14. DOI:10.1111/1462-2920.12325.
    • Boyd, V., H. Yoon, C. Zhang, M. Oostrom, N. Hess, B. W. Fouke, A. J. Valocchi, C. J. Werth, Influence of Mg2+ on CaCO3 precipitation during subsurface reactive transport tested in a micromodel pore network. Geochimica et Cosmochimica ACTA 2014, 135, 321-335
  • 2013
    • Takacs-Vesbach C, Inskeep WP, Jay ZJ, Herrgard MJ, Rusch DB, Tringe SG, Kozubal MA, Hamamura N, Macur RE, Fouke BW, Reysenbach AL, McDermott TR, Jennings Rd, Hengartner NW, Xie G., Metagenome Sequence Analysis of Filamentous Microbial Communities Obtained from Geochemically Distinct Geothermal Channels Reveals Specialization of Three Aquificales Lineages. Frontiers in Microbiology 2013, 4(84):1-25. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2013.00084.
  • 2012
    • Kim, W., Fouke, B.W., Petter, A.L., Quinn, T.M., Kerans, C., and Taylor, F., Sea level rise, depth-dependent carbonate growth and the paradox of a drowned platform. Sedimentology 2012, 59(6):1677-1694, DOI:10.1111/j.1365-3091.2012.01321.x.
    • Webb, N.D., Grimley, D.A., Phillips, A.C., Fouke, B.W., Origin of glacial ridges (OIS 6) in the Kaskia Sublobe, southwestern Illinois, USA. Quaternary Research, 2012, 78(2):341-352, DOI:10.1016/j.yqres.2012.06.005.
    • Freiburg, J.T., Fouke, B.W., Lasemi, Z., New insights on Upper Mississippi Valley mineralization based on solution cavities in the Ordovician Galena Group at the Conco Mine, North Aurora, Illinois. Illinois State Geological Survey Circular 2012, 581.


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