Molecular Microbial Ecology

Welcome to The Buchan Lab!

Research in our lab is driven by a desire to understand the roles of microbes in natural environments. Major objectives include linking microbial taxa to critical ecosystem processes, exploring functional gene diversity and its relation to community structure and biogeochemical processes, and identifying novel enzymes and/or catabolic pathways.

Much of our work focuses on the Roseobacter clade, an abundant, broadly distributed and biogeochemically relevant group of heterotrophic marine bacteria. Aspects of Roseobacter biology that are of particular interest to us include catabolism of plant-derived compounds, attachment and colonization of surfaces, and geographical distributions. In addition, we have recently begun to examine viruses that infect this important clade in order to understand how phage lysis influences Roseobacter populations as well as the chemical nature of dissolved organic matter released due to phage activity.

Lab News

Feb 10, 2020: Former Buchan lab member Nathan Cude visits from Novozymes to give a talk in the Spring 2020 Microbiology Seminar Series.

Jan 27, 2020: Former Buchan lab member Nana Ankrah visits from Cornell University to give a talk in the Spring 2020 Microbiology Seminar Series.

Jan 22, 2020: Congratulations to Matt for being appointed ASM Young Ambassador of Science to Tennessee! In this prestigious volunteer position he will be representing the local scientific community and working with ASM in the promotion and advancement of the microbial sciences.

Nov 8, 2019: April presents some of her research at the Fall KY-TN ASM Branch Meeting in Nashville, TN.

Oct 30, 2019: Congratulations to Jonelle for a successful dissertation defense!

Aug 01, 2019: Julie and April present their research at the annual Microbiology Department Retreat.

Apr 29, 2019: Several members of the Buchan lab were recognized at the annual Microbiology Department award's day.

Alison was recognized for receiving the Angie Warren Perkins Award at the Chancellor's Honor's Banquet and an Advising Award from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Jonelle was recognized for winning the Yates Dissertation Fellowship from the graduate school.

April won the David C. White Travel Award, allowing her to present her work at the Southeastern Biogeochemistry Symposium.

Kaylee won the Microbiology Summer Research Award.

Claire won the Jeff and Nancy Becker Undergraduate Research Award.

Congratulations to all!

Apr 17, 2019: Claire and Kaylee present posters at the EURēCA conference on campus to showcase some of their recent research

Nov 2018: Former REU student Luis presents his research from this past summer at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Indianapolis, IN

Oct 2018: Congratulations to Michelle for a successful dissertation defense!

Jul 2018: Congratulations to Lauren for successfully defending her dissertation!

Jun 2018: Alison and Jonelle travel to Lincoln, NE for Aquatic Virus Workshop 9 where Jonelle will be presenting some of her recent work

Jun 2018: Michelle and Jonelle travel to Atlanta, GA to present their work at ASM Microbe

Apr 2017: April travels to Athens, GA to present her work at the fourth annual Southeastern Biogeochemistry Symposium

Mar 2016: Congratulations to Ashley for successfully defending her dissertation!

Mar 2016: Jonelle and April both present work at the third annual Southeastern Biogeochemistry Symposium here in Knoxville, TN

May 2015: Congratulations to Dr. Ankrah! PhD was officially conferred during graduation ceremonies.

Apr 2015: Congratulations to Nana for being recognized at the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet for Extraordinary Professional Promise!! A well-deserved recognition.

Mar 2015: Thanks to Jen Glass and the rest of the crew for hosting SBS in Atlanta! Jonelle and Ashley had a wonderful time meeting with southeastern biogeochemists and discussing their work!!

Feb 2015: Congratulations to Nana for successfully defending his PhD!! His degree will be officially conferred in May 2015!

Apr 2014: Congratulations to Nana Ankrah for being selected to participate in the MicroTrop 2014 program in Senegal!!

Jan 2014: Happy New Year! Check out Nana and Charles’ latest contribution to Roseophage knowledge:

Dec 2013: Congratulations to everyone who contributed to the “phage metabolomics” project! It’s available for your viewing pleasure at:

Nov 2013: Nana and Alison enjoy St. Petersburg, FL while attending the 7th Aquatic Virus Workshop. Nana gave a great talk!

Nov 2013: Congrats to Nathan! His Frontiers in Aquatic Microbiology review was just published. You can find the link here:

Aug 2013: Dr. Nathan Cude moves to Oak Ridge National Lab to work with Dr. Dale Pelletier as a postdoctoral associate. Congrats and you’ll be missed!

Aug 2013: REU Student Drew Garrone returns to Truman State. What a great summer!

May 2013: Dr. Chris Gulvik moves to Georgia Tech to work with Dr. Jim Spain as a postdoctoral associate. Congrats! We’ll miss you!!

May 1-4, 2013: Andrew Lang and Alison went to Sapelo Island, Georgia in search of gene transfer agents.

Apr 24, 2013: Congratulations Dr Chris Gulvik for successfully defending his dissertation!! --it’s been a busy week!

Apr 23, 2013: Congratulations Dr Nathan Cude for successfully defending his dissertation!!

Apr 2013: Congratulations to Chris for his recent publication in AEM. Click here for the early on-line version:

Aug 17, 2012: Chris and Thomas are in Copenhagen presenting their work at ISME. The rest of us are jealous...

Jul 2012: Congratulations to Nathan for the publication of his first, first author paper!

Jun 2012: Congratulations to Nana for successfully passing his comprehensive exam!

May 1, 2012: Congratulations to Nathan and Chris for winning the Department of Microbiology’s Teaching Award!!

Mar 22, 2012: Check out how the lab helps celebrate Nathan’s birthday. Thanks to Ashley for the amazing cookies! goofy photos

Nov 4, 2011: Congratulations to Ashley for successfully passing her comprehensive exam!

Oct 30, 2011: Nana and Alison are headed to the 6th Aquatic Virus Workshop in Texel, Netherlands.

Oct 22, 2011: Congratulations to Nana and Chris for winning first and second place, respectively, for best oral presentation at the TN/KY Branch ASM meeting in Nashville!

Aug 2011: Summer was a blur and classes are starting. Alison attended the Gordon Conference on Applied and Environmental Microbiology in July at Mt Holyoke College and the STAMPS course at MBL in early August.

Aug 2011: Check out Charles’ new paper in BMC Microbiology

Apr 2011: Congratulations to Dan Jones for winning a Summer Undergraduate Internship from the UTK Office of Research and a Department of Microbiology summer fellowship award.

Mar 2011: Congratulations to Nathan for passing his preliminary exam!

Oct 22, 2010: Congrats to Ashley and Jim Daleiden for winning the best poster award at the Frontiers in Biorefining: Biobased Products from Renewable Carbon!

Oct 15, 2010: Congratulations to Chris for passing his preliminary exam!

Oct 10, 2010: Our departmental retreat at Norris Dam State Park is today.

May 24, 2010: Ashley is presenting a poster at the Frontiers in Bioenergy Symposium being held at Purdue University.

Mar 2010: Nana presented a poster at the Student Conference on Conservation Science at the University of Cambridge, UK

Dec 2009: Check out Alison, Mary and Marcelino’s new paper in AEM

Nov 2009: Alison gave talks at the University of Georgia and Old Dominion University

Sep 2009: Rachel’s MS work is published in AEM!

Sep 2009: Congrats to Chris for winning the best student oral presentation award at the Regional ASM meeting! Nathan gave a poster presentation at this same meeting.

Sep 2009: Congrats to Charles for passing his preliminary exams!

Aug 2009: The DOE funds C3Bio as an Emerging Frontiers Energy Center! The lab is an active participant of this newly funded center administered through Purdue University. We will be investigating ring hydroxlyating dioxygenases from marine bacteria that have potential applications in biobased fuels from lignin.

May 2009: Alison and Chris presents posters at the ASM Meeting in Philadelphia PA

May 2009: Charles presents a poster at the SCOR Viral Meeting in Newark, DE

Apr 2009: Alison gave the keynote address at James Madison University’s annual Biosymposium (her alma mater)