Joseph M. Suflita, George Lynn Cross Research Professor

Dr. Joseph Suflita

MAPCO Professor of Environmental Quality
Director, Institute for Energy and the Environment
Director, Biocorrosion Center
Director, Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative

Department of Botany and Microbiology

University of Oklahoma; Norman, OK 73019
Phone: (405) 325-5761; Email:

Dr. Suflita is an internationally recognized expert on anaerobic biodegradation processes with over 30 years of research experience in the fields of microbial ecology and environmental microbiology.  His research has focused on establishing the degradative pathways associated with contaminant compounds, the rates at which they are biotransformed, the ecological boundaries of the metabolism, the types of microorganisms that catalyze the reactions, and the novel biochemical mechanisms associated with the metabolism.  Progress on the fundamental aspects of anaerobic hydrocarbon metabolism has caused him to turn his more recent attention to study the chemistry and biology of fuel biodeterioration and biocorrosion.  The efforts of his laboratory are focused on the diagnosis and mitigation of these processes.  As Director of the entities listed above, he is responsible for implementing the research agenda established in conjunction with sponsoring agencies.

Stevenson, B. S.; Drilling, H. S.; Lawson, P. A.; Duncan, K. E.; Parisi, V. A., & Suflita, J. M. Microbial communities in bulk fluids and biofilms of an oil facility have similar composition but different structure. Environmental Microbiology (2011), doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2010.02413.x

Gieg, L. M.; Davidova, I. A.; Duncan, K. E., & Suflita, J. M. Methanogenesis, sulfate reduction and crude oil biodegradation in hot Alaskan oilfields. Environmental Microbiology (2010), 12(11), 3074-86.

Savage, K. N.; Krumholz, L. R.; Gieg, L. M.; Parisi, V. A.; Suflita, J. M.; Allen, J.; Philp, R. P., & Elshahed, M. S.  Biodegradation of low-molecular-weight alkanes under mesophilic, sulfate-reducing conditions: metabolic intermediates and community patterns. FEMS Microbiology Ecology (2010), 72(3), 485-495.

Yagi, J. M.; Suflita, J. M.; Gieg, L. M.; DeRito, C. M.; Jeon, C. O., & Madsen, E. L. Subsurface cycling of nitrogen and anaerobic aromatic hydrocarbon biodegradation revealed by nucleic acid and metabolic biomarkers. Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2010), 76(10), 3124-3134.

Callaghan, A. V.; Davidova, I. A.; Savage-Ashlock, K.; Parisi, V. A.; Gieg, L. M.; Suflita, J. M.; Kukor, J. J., & Wawrik, B. Diversity of Benzyl- and Alkylsuccinate Synthase Genes in Hydrocarbon-Impacted Environments and Enrichment Cultures. Environmental Science & Technology (2010), 44(19), 7287-7294.

Aktas, D. F.; Lee, J. S.; Little, B. J.; Ray, R. I.; Davidova, I. A.; Lyles, C. N., & Suflita, J. M.  Anaerobic Metabolism of Biodiesel and Its Impact on Metal Corrosion. Energy & Fuels (2010), 24(5), 2924-2928.

Gieg, L. M.; Alumbaugh, R. E.; Field, J.; Jones, J.; Istok, J. D., & Suflita, J. M. Assessing in situ rates of anaerobic hydrocarbon bioremediation. Microbial Biotechnology (2009), 2(2), 222-233.

Parisi, V. A.; Brubaker, G. R.; Zenker, M. J.; Prince, R. C.; Gieg, L. M.; da Silva, M. L. B.; Alvarez, P. J. J., & Suflita, J. M. Field metabolomics and laboratory assessments of anaerobic intrinsic bioremediation of hydrocarbons at a petroleum-contaminated site. Microbial Biotechnology (2009), 2(2), 202-212.

Duncan, K. E.; Gieg, L. M.; Parisi, V. A.; Tanner, R. S.; Green Tringe, S.; Bristow, J., & Suflita, J. M. Biocorrosive Thermophilic Microbial Communities in Alaskan North Slope Oil Facilities. Environmental Science & Technology (2009), 43(20), 7977-7984.

Beasley, K. K.; Gieg, L. M.; Suflita, J. M., & Nanny, M. A. Polarizability and Spin Density Correlate with the Relative Anaerobic Biodegradability of Alkylaromatic Hydrocarbons. Environmental Science & Technology (2009), 43(13), 4995-5000.

Suflita, J. M.; Phelps, T. J., & Little, B. Carbon dioxide corrosion and acetate: a hypothesis on the influence of microorganisms. Corrosion (Houston, TX, United States) (2008), 564(11), 854-859.

Suflita, J. M., & McInerney, M. J. Microbial approaches for the enhanced recovery of methane and oil from mature reservoirs. Bioenergy (2008), 389-403. 

Gieg, L. M.; Duncan, K. E., & Suflita, J. M. Bioenergy production via microbial conversion of residual oil to natural gas. Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2008), 74(10), 3022-3029.

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