Kathleen Duncan, Ph. D.

Research Associate Professor
SEC 1470 100 E. Boyd.
770 Van Vleet Oval
Norman, OK 73019
405-325-6927 (office)
405-325-4892 (lab)

B.A., Biological Sciences, University of Rochester, 1975
M.S., Biology, University of Rochester, 1978
Ph.D., Biology, University of Rochester, 1982

Research areas: Anaerobic Microbiology, Biocorrosion, Biofuels, Bioremediation & Biodegradation, Environmental Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, Microbial Systematics, Microbially-Enhanced Oil Recovery, Petroleum Microbiology

Research interests:

My research is centered on gaining a greater understanding of how microbial diversity is structured at several different levels; that is, how genetic and ecological factors affect communities, species, and populations, and how they respond as environments change. I have studied the effects of changing environments in the context of the microbiology of energy issues. My areas of energy-related research include 1) Microbially influenced corrosion (MIC, biocorrosion) and biodeterioration of petroleum products and biofuels, 2) Molecular characterization of microbial isolates and enrichments capable of anaerobic biodegradation of hydrocarbons, 3) Bioremediation of soil ecosystems contaminated by oil and oil-field brine, and 4) Microbially enhanced oil recovery (MEOR).

Another branch of my research focuses on the genus Bacillus, including studies of gene transfer within and between species, determining levels of genetic variation within populations, and systematics. The genus Bacillus, with many culturable members, offers an outstanding opportunity for research in microbial systematics and evolution, as well as offering strains for use in MEOR.
My research draws on many different areas of microbiology as I use the tools of molecular biology to characterize microbial communities and species. I enjoy the challenge of multidisciplinary collaborations with scientists and engineers striving to solve complex real-world problems.

Relevant publications:

Duncan, Kathleen E.; Perez-Ibarra, Beatriz Monica; Jenneman, G.; Busch Harris, Jennifer; Webb, Robert; Sublette, Kerry. 2013. The effect of corrosion inhibitors on microbial communities associated with corrosion in a model flow cell system. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 2013 May 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Lyles, Christopher N.; Aktas, Deniz; Duncan, Kathleen; Callaghan, Amy; Stevenson, Bradley; Suflita, Joseph. 2013. Impact of organosulfur content on diesel fuel stability and implications for carbon steel corrosion. Environ. Sci. Tech. 47(11):6052-6062. doi: 10.1021/es4006702.

Oldham AL, Drilling HS, Stamps BW, Stevenson BS, and KE Duncan. Automated DNA extraction platforms offer solutions to challenges of assessing microbial biofouling in oil production facilities. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Express 2012, 2:60doi:10.1186/2191-0855-2-60.

Davidova I, KE Duncan, B Perez-Ibarra, J Suflita. 2012. Involvement of thermophilic archaea in the biocorrosion of oil pipelines. Environmental Microbiology. 14: 1762-1771.

Lee JS, Ray RI, Little BJ, Duncan KE, Oldham AL, Davidova IA and JM Suflita. 2012. Sulphide production and corrosion in seawaters during exposure to FAME diesel. Biofouling. 28: 465-478.


Contact Us
Phone 405-325-4321
770 Van Vleet Oval

Norman, OK 73019
136 George Lynn Cross Hall
Hours: 8:00 am - 
5:00 pm M-F           Closed For Lunch 12:00 - 1:00

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