Dr. John M. Senko

Dr. John M. Senko

Title: Professor
Research Specialty: Geomicrobiology, Environmental Biogeochemistry, Environmental Microbiology
Dept/Program: Geosciences and Biology
Office: CRH 126
Phone: 330 972-8047
Fax: 330 972-7611
Email: senko@uakron.edu
Website: http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=MeDNh7oAAAAJ&hl=en



Geomicrobiology, environmental biogeochemistry, environmental microbiology.

Research Interests

I study how microorganisms influence the prevailing chemical conditions of a variety of “natural” and man-made systems. I am particularly interested in how the ecology, physiology, and in-situ activity of these microorganisms influence the fate of environmental contaminants.  I am also interested in how microbial communities respond (in terms of community structure and activity) to physicochemical changes in their environment.

The work in my lab currently focuses on:

  • Microbially mediated redox transformations of iron and sulfur species in acid mine drainage (AMD)-impacted systems
  • The roles of Fe metabolizing microorganisms in the formation of caves in Fe(III)-rich deposits in the Iron Quadrangle of Brazil
  • Electrochemical techniques to characterize and detect microbially-influenced corrosion
  • Microbial processes associated with flue gas “scrubbers” at coal-fired electric power plants

All of these projects involve highly interdisciplinary approaches to understanding microbial activities and then include students and faculty collaborators from The University of Akron and other universities. These projects are or have been supported by The National Science Foundation, US Department of Defense, Ohio Water Resources Research Institute, Electric Power Research Institute, and Ohio Department of Natural Resources.



Selected recent publications

Sharma, S., N. J. Wander, W. G. Ryan, M. Lautzenheiser, T. J. Cutright, J. M. Senko. 2021. Potential for passive treatment of coal mine-derived acid mine drainage in abandoned stream channels. Mine Water and the Environment. 40:1016-1024.

Calapa, K., M. K. Mulford, T. D. Rienman, J. M. Senko, A. S. Auler, C. W. Parker, H. Barton. 2021. Hydrologic alteration and enhanced microbial reductive dissolution of Fe(III) (hydr)oxides under flow conditions in Fe(III) rich rocks: contribution to cave forming processes. Frontiers in Microbiology. 12:656934.

Martin, G., S. Sharma, W. Ryan, N. K. Srinivasan, J. M. Senko. 2021. Identification of microbiological activities in wet flue gas desulfurization systems. Frontiers in Microbiology. 12:1771.

Miller, R.B, H. Ghadimi, S.P. Chinthala, A. Sadek, A.L. Crouch, J.G. Floyd, B.S. Stevenson, W. Crookes-Goodson, J.M. Senko, C.N. Monty. 2023. Evaluation of microbial corrosion in biofuel storage tanks using split-chamber zero resistance ammetry. Journal of Applied Electrochemistry. 53:1269-1277.

Santangelo, Z., J. M. Senko. 2020. The influence of O2 on the enrichment and activities of acidophilic Fe(III) reducing bacteria. Geomicrobiology Journal. 37:564-571.


  • B.S. Saint Vincent College, 1997
  • M.S. Duquesne University
  • Ph.D. Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, 2004


  • Introduction to Environmental Science (3370:211)
  • Geochemistry (3370:470/570)
  • Geology & Environmental Science Service Learning (3370:452)
  • Geomicrobiology (3370:465/565)
  • Research Problems in Geology (3370:499)