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Biofilm Science & Engineering

Biofilm form when bacteria attach to wetted surfaces, and begin to excrete a slimy, glue-like substance. Colonies of biofilm bacteria carry out a variety of detrimental or beneficial reactions that affect all of us daily.

At the Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE), multidisciplinary research teams find solutions and applications for industrially relevant problems and potentials of microbial biofilm formation. The CBE was established in 1990 as a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center to foster a new approach to university engineering and science education.


Molecular Biosciences Program
612 Leon Johnson Hall
P.O. Box P.O. Box 172580,
Bozeman, MT 59717
Fax: 4069947212

Contact Us

Montana State University

Division of Graduate Education

Molecular Biosciences Program

P.O. Box 172580
Bozeman, MT 59717-2580

(406) 994-6652


Molecular BIOSciences |> Biofilm Science & Engineering
|> Faculty |> Matthew W Fields, Ph. D

Anaerobic Microbiology, Physiology, and Ecology

Current Research

We are interested in environmental signals that are sensed by cells to mediate control over physiology and modes of growth. In particular, we are interested in the genes used to sense environmental changes in response to biotic and abiotic parameters, and how microibal cells respond in order to optimize metabolism. We study both monocultures and indigenous microbial communities to better understand the interrelationships between genomic content and phenotype at different levels of resolution (i.e., DNA to communinty), and how these attributes contribute to stress and survival of biological cells. Within the contexts of cellular responses, we study bacterial systems important for heavy metal biormediation, metal corrosion, extemophilic lifestyles, and bio-energy.

Recent Publications

Clark, M.E., Q. He, Z. He, E.J. Alm, K.H. Huang, T.C. Hazen, A.P. Arkin, J.D. Wall, J. Zhou, and M.W. Fields. 2006. Temporal transcriptomic analyses of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough during electron donor depletion. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 72:5578-5588.

Fields, M.W., C.E. Bagwell, S.L. Carroll, T. Yan, X. Liu, D.B. Watson, P.M. Jardine, C.S.Criddle, T.C. Hazen, and J. Zhou. 2006. Phylogenetic and functional biomakers as indicators of bacterial community responses to mixed-waste contamination. Environ. Sci. Technol. 40:2601-2607.

Hwang, C., W.-M.Wu, T.J. Gentry, J. Carley, S.L. Carroll, C. Schadt, D. Watson, P.M. Jardine, J. Zhou, R.F. Hickey, C.S. Criddle, and M.W. Fields. 2006. Changes in bacterial community structure correlate with initial operating conditions of a field-scale denitrifying fluidized bed reactor. Appl. Microbiol. Biotech. 71:748-760.

Gao, W., Y. Liu, C.S. Giometti, S.L. Tollaksen, T. Khare, L. Wu, D.M. Klingeman, M.W. Fields and J. Zhou. 2006. Knock-out of a prohibitin-like protein results in alteration of iron metabolism, increased spontaneous mutation and hydrogen peroxide sensitivity in the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis. BMC Genomics 7:76

Fields, M.W., T. Yan, S.-K. Rhee, S.L. Carroll, P.M. Jardine, D.B. Watson, C.S. Criddle and J. Zhou. 2005. Impacts on microbial communities and cultivable isolates from groundwater contaminated with high levels of nitric acid-uranium waste. FEMS Microboil. Ecol. 53:417-428

Matthew W Fields, Ph. D

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Updated: 8/16/08


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