National Research Program | Reston Microbiology Lab


  • FeRB isolated using a roll bottle technique from the former Uranium Mine near Ronneburg, Germany.

    Iron Reducing Bacteria
    FeRB isolated using a roll bottle technique from the former Uranium Mine near Ronneburg, Germany, Photo credit: Denise Akob, USGS

  • RML intern, Charlie Quinn, using epifluorescence microscopy to count bacterial cells.

    Microscopy
    RML intern, Charlie Quinn, using epifluorescence microscopy to count bacterial cells, Photo credit: Tadd Alexander, USGS

  • The genesis and growth of cave formations like these stalactites may be influenced by microbes.

    The Herrenberg Cave
    The genesis and growth of cave formations like these stalactites may be influenced by microbes

  • RML intern, John Swiecichowski, monitoring geochemical changes in flow-thru microcosms.

    Science in the Dark
    RML intern, John Swiecichowski, monitoring geochemical changes in flow-thru microcosms during a power outage. Photo credit: Tadd Alexander, USGS.

  • RML scientist, Adam Mumford, working under ice to obtain grab samples of a stream in North Dakota to assess impacts of a brine spill from unconventional oil and gas activities (UOG).

    Icy Sampling
    RML scientist, Adam Mumford, working under ice to obtain grab samples of a stream in North Dakota to assess impacts of a brine spill from unconventional oil and gas activities (UOG). UOG spills often have very high concentrations of salts, metals, naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs), and organic compounds. Photo Credit: Adam Benthem, USGS.

  • USGS scientist collecting water-quality samples on a wastewater disposal facility in West Virginia to assess potential environmental impacts due to activities at the site.

    Sampling for Impacts of UOG Wastes
    USGS scientist collecting water-quality samples on a wastewater disposal facility in West Virginia to assess potential environmental impacts due to activities at the site. Photo Credit: Kalla Leigh Fleger, USGS.

The Reston Microbiology Laboratory (RML) is a research and fee-for-service laboratory located in the USGS National Research Program of the Water Mission Area. The lab conducts research in the fields of microbial ecology, geomicrobiology, biogeochemistry, and the hydrologic sciences. The goals of our research are to 1) understand interactions between microbes and their environment; and 2) link environmental microbial community structure (e.g., phylogeny and identity) with microbial function (e.g., metabolism and mineral interactions). Current areas of research include: unconventional oil and gas (UOG) development, carbon cycling, coal bed methane, crude oil and chlorinated solvent bioremediation, and amphibian disease.


RML Group 2016

Contact Info

Dr. Denise M. Akob
U.S. Geological Survey
National Research Program
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr.
Mail Stop 430
Reston, VA 20192
Phone: 703-648-5819
dakob@usgs.gov