Egbert SchwartzProfessor and Director of the Laboratory for Isotope, Molecular, and Ecosystem Science

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Portrait of Egbert Schwartz
Microbial ecology, Bioremediation, Ecosystem ecology
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Schwartz’s research focuses on the interaction between microbial populations and their environment. He is particularly interested in the relationships between microbial growth or activity and soil processes.

His educational aim is to get students excited about all aspects of biology, ranging from molecular biology to ecosystem ecology and, through research, to bridge an array of environmental sub-disciplines including molecular biology, ecosystem ecology and soil science.

Current Projects
  • Biological and mineralogical controls over soil carbon cycling across multiple ecosystems: a focus on the priming effect
  • Soil Microbiology of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
  • The use of Stable Isotope Probing to link Microbial growth to Ecosystem Processes


Full Curriculum Vitae
Selected Publications

McHugh TA,  Compson Z , van Gestel  N, Hayer M,  Ballard L, Haverty M, Hines J, Irvine N,  Krassner D,  Lyons T, Musta EJ, Schiff  M, Zint P, and  Schwartz  E. (2017). Climate controls prokaryotic community composition in desert soils of the southwestern United States. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, fix116,

Egbert Schwartz · Michaela Hayer · Bruce A Hungate · Benjamin J Koch · Theresa A McHugh · William Mercurio · Ember M Morrissey · Katerina Soldanova. 2016. Stable isotope probing with 18O-water to investigate microbial growth and death in environmental samples. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 41, 14-18.

Ember M Morrissey · Rebecca L Mau · Egbert Schwartz · J Gregory Caporaso · Paul Dijkstra · Natasja van Gestel · Benjamin J Koch · Cindy M Liu · Michaela Hayer · Theresa A McHugh · Jane C Marks · Lance B Price · Bruce A Hungate. 2016. Phylogenetic organization of bacterial activity. ISME J. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2016.28.

Bruce A Hungate, Rebecca L Mau, Egbert Schwartz, J Gregory Caporaso, Paul Dijkstra, Natasja van Gestel, Benjamin J Koch, Cindy M Liu, Theresa A McHugh, Jane C Marks, Ember Morrissey, Lance B Price. (2015) Quantitative Microbial Ecology Through Stable Isotope Probing. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 81:7570–7581; DOI:10.1128/AEM.02280-15

Theresa A. McHugh, Ember M. Morrissey, Sasha C. Reed, Bruce A. Hungate, Egbert Schwartz 2015. Water from air: an overlooked source of moisture in arid and semiarid regions. Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 13767 (2015) doi:10.1038/srep13767

Schwartz, E, DJ Van Horn, HN. Buelow, J G. Okie, M N. Gooseff, J E. Barrett and C D. Takacs-Vesbach (2014) Characterization of growing bacterial populations in McMurdo Dry Valley soils through stable isotope probing with 18O-water. FEMS Microbial Ecology. 89:415-425.  DOI: 10.1111/1574-6941.12349

McHugh TA, Koch GW, Schwartz E (2014) Minor changes in soil bacterial and fungal community composition occur in response to monsoon precipitation in a semiarid grassland. Microbial Ecology 68:370-378 DOI:10.1007/s00248-014-0416-3

Blazewicz S.J., E. Schwartz and M. K. Firestone (2014) Growth and mortality of bacteria and fungi underlie rainfall-induced carbon dioxide pulses from seasonally dried soil. Ecology, 95:1162-1172.