Dr. John M. Senko

Dr. John M. Senko

Title: Associate 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
SSRN: http://twitter.com/akrongeomicro



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

Miller R.B. II, Lawson K., Sadek A., Monty CN, Senko, J.M. 2018. Uniform and pitting corrosion of carbon steel by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 under nitrate-reducing conditions. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 84:e00790-18.

Parker C.W., Auler A.S., Barton M.D., Sasowsky I.D., Senko J.M., Barton H.A. 2018. Fe(III) reducing microorganisms from iron ore caves demonstrate fermentative Fe(III) reduction and promote cave formation. Geomicrobiology Journal. 35:311-322.

Burwick J.E., Sharma S., Parker C.W., Menge C.M., Buldum A., Senko J.M. 2017 The influence of O2 availability and Fe(III) mineralogy on Fe metabolism by an acidophilic bacterial culture. Chemical Geology. 457:107-117.

Brantner J.S., Senko J.M. 2014. Response of soil-associated microbial communities to intrusion of coal mine-derived acid mine drainage. Environmental Science & Technology. 48:8556-8563.

Brown B.P., Brown S.R., Senko J.M. 2012. Microbial communities associated with wet flue gas desulfurization systems. Frontiers in Microbiology. 3:142.


  • 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)