Bruce Fouke

Description

Address

Biography

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.

Research

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.

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