Laboratory Fellow, Biological Sciences Division
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Allan Konopka came to PNNL after 30 years as a Professor of Biological Sciences at Purdue University. His research has focused on diverse microbial habitats, including aquatic, surface and subsurface soils, and upon the ecology of both photoautotrophic and chemoheterophic microorganisms. He has investigated the role of microbes upon the fate and transport of both organic xenobiotic compounds and inorganic metals. These studies have had scopes ranging from analysis of microbial community composition and activity in natural samples to physiological and molecular analyses of microbes isolated from natural habitats. At PNNL, he is leading efforts on analysis of microbial communities and the development of novel technologies to develop a mechanistic understanding of microbial community ecology.
This area of research requires cross-disciplinary cooperation, and Konopka has performed collaborative research with limnologists, hydrologists, environmental chemists, soil physicists, geologists, environmental engineers and chemical engineers. Experimental analyses have been carried out on field sites (such as freshwater aquatic ecosystems and subsurface sediments), in laboratory microcosms, and upon pure cultures of microbes.
Konopka has authored or co-authored approximately 100 peer-reviewed publications in journals for microbiology and microbial ecology. He has also published several materials related to undergraduate education in microbiology, including software used to simulate laboratory exercises in microbiology.