National Research Program | Reston Microbiology Lab


Dr. Denise M. Akob

Dr. Denise M. Akob

Research Microbiologist


Phone: 703-648-5819
USGS Staff Profile


Ph.D. in Biogeochemical Oceanography, 2008
Department of Oceanography, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
Advisor: Dr. Joel E. Kostka

B.A. in Biology, 2002
St. Mary’s College of Maryland

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Research Interests:

I am a microbial ecologist whose research focuses on understanding how microorganisms impact their environment and biogeochemical cycles and in turn, how an environment impacts microorganisms. I investigate both contaminated and pristine environments. My focus is primarily on bioremediation and natural attenuation in lakes, soils, and terrestrial sediments; the microbial ecology of pristine aquifers caves, pitcher plants, and salt marshes; and the microbial contributions to energy production.

Adam Mumford

Adam Mumford

Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow

(Co-advised by Dr. Isabelle Cozzarelli, Reston Biogeochemical Processes in Groundwater Lab)


Phone: 703-648-5893
USGS Staff Profile


Ph.D. in Environmental Science, 2013
Rutgers University, Department of Environmental Sciences, New Brunswick, NJ
Major Professor: Dr. Lily Young

B.S. in Microbiology, 2004
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Research Interests:

Dr. Adam Mumford is a geomicrobiologist who studies the interactions between microbial communities and minerals in the shallow subsurface. His current work focuses on how microbial communities respond to inputs of produced water from unconventional oil and gas development, and how these responses can mitigate or exacerbate the risk posed by produced waters to streams and shallow aquifers.

Yesha Shrestha

Yesha Shrestha

Microbiologist, Lab Manager


Phone: 703-648-5487


M.S. in Molecular Biochemistry and Bioinformatics, 2014
George Washington University, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Research Advisor: Dr. Harasewych

B.S. in Biology, 2011
Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA

Robert Andrews

Robert Andrews

Researcher IV at Reston Microbiology Lab via Natural Systems Analysts, Inc.


Phone: 703-648-5898


M.S. in Environmental Science & Policy (Environmental Biocomplexity), 2011
George Mason University, Dept. of Environmental Science & Policy Advisor: Dr. Albert Torzilli

B.S. in Environmental Science (Plant Resources), 2004
Virginia Tech, Dept. of Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences

Former Group Members

Kaylene Charles

Lab Technician July 2012-September 2013

Darren Dunlap

Lab Manager August 2012-September 2015

Education: M.S. in Marine Science, 2012 University of South Florida, B.S. in Microbiology, 2008 The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Current Position: Microbiologist at Boeing Research & Technologies, The Boeing Company

Christian Go

Volunteer for Science Intern, May-August 2013

Jean Michael Chanchu

Volunteer for Science Intern 2013; Student Contractor 2014

Bryan Saldana

Volunteer for Science Intern, 2014

Benedita Pinto

Volunteer for Science Intern, 2014

Eric Tang

Flint Hill High School Intern, 2014

Melissa Harrington

NAGT Intern 2014

J. Grace Klinges

Volunteer for Science Intern, 2014; Student Contractor, 2014-2015; Haverford senior thesis, 2014-2015; Hydrology Field Assistant Intern, 2015

Education: B.S. in Geology, 2015 Haverford College

Current position: Graduate Student at Oregon State University with Dr. Vega-Thurber

Andrea Fraser

Volunteer for Science Intern, 2014; Student Contractor, 2014-2015

Education: B.S. in Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering, 2014 George Mason University

Current position: PhD Student at Johns Hopkins University, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, website

Yoona Jun

Volunteer for Science Intern 2014; Student Contractor, 2015

Matthew Olson

NAGT Intern, 2015

Hannah Backman

Biological Field Assistant Intern, 2015-2016

Education: B.S. in Environmental Science, 2016 University of Virginia

Current position: GIS Technician at Apple via Apex Systems

Charlie Quinn

Volunteer for Science Intern 2016

John Swiecichowski

NAGT Intern 2016

Education: B.S. in Earth Sciences, 2016 University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Current position: Hydrologic Technician, USGS Oregon Water Science Center

Tadd Alexander

Biological Field Assistant Intern, 2016-2017

Education: Pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Science and a Minor in Green Engineering at Virginia Tech