R.D. Ellender

Professor Emeritus

Teaching Interests


BSC 380 General Microbiology

BSC 488/L/588/L Food Microbiology

BSC 480/L/580/L The Origins and Evolution of Microbial Life

BSC 484 Virology

BSC 584 Virology

BSC 489/L/589/L Environmental Microbiology

BSC 497 Senior Practicum


Research Interests

I have always liked diversity, and my resume reflects this penchant for different types of research ideas.

My latest effort is in bacterial source tracking whose intent is to fingerprint organisms from different animals, to create a library of prints that can be used to pinpoint the animal of origin of fecal contamination of water. This effort has ultimately led to the use of archea as indicators of water pollution, mainly through the research of Jennifer Ufnar, Ph.D.

I have researched the tissue culture of penaeid shrimp, testing traditional as well as molecular procedures to produce cell cultures capable of subcultivation (two publications are indicated below), and my students and I examined the genetics and cell cycle processes that control shrimp cell replication.

In the mid 1990s I studied the microbial decolorization of pulp mill wastewater, examining the enzymes of white rot fungi as alternative methods of wastewater decolorization and later studied a chemical process to remove the color. During this period, I also examined the microbial deterioration of flat, polyethylene roofing material in an attempt to understand the "alligatoring" that occurs as the roof material ages.

My laboratory has also examined several aspects of seafood microbiology. Several publications described the number and the variety of Staphylococcus species found in cooked ready-to-eat crabmeat samples collected from states along the northern Gulf of Mexico. Other research in this area involved a prospective search for E. coli O157:H7 in fishery products, and a determination of the persistence of this organism in various marine environmental samples.

In the recent past, I developed an interest in the Microbial Origin of Life and has produced a course BSC 480/L to express my thought on the subject.

As I noted earlier, I prefer diversity both in research and teaching. I teach using the Internet and one of my courses, General Virology, can be taken on campus and over the Net. All of my courses have been placed on WebCT and I use this technology to teach and to stimulate student interest.

Current Graduate Students | Resume

Graduate Students

Jennifer Ufnar, Ph.D. (graduated in December 2006)
Jason Townsend, M.S. (graduated in December 2006)
Dawn Rebarchik
Levi White (working on M.S. degree)
Jackie Williams (beginning Ph.D. degree in 2007)

Representative Publications

I have authored or co-authored 157 publications, presentations, chapters in books and patents. For additional information , please refer to the above linked resume.

Microbial Source Tracking:

Ufnar, D.F., Ufnar, J.A., White, T.W., Rebarchik, D., Ellender, R.D. 2006. Environmental influences on fecal pollution in the Mississippi Sound, Transaction, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, 55:835-843.

Hassan, Wail, Shiao Wang and R.D. Ellender.2006 Methods to increase the fidelity of rep PCR fingerprint based bacterial source tracking efforts. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71(1): 512-518.

Ufnar, Jennifer A., Shiao Wang, Jessica M. Christiansen, Helen Yampara-Iquise, C. Andrew Carson, and R.D. Ellender, 2006. Detection of the nifH gene of Methanobrevibacter smithii: a potential tool to identify human sewage pollution in recreational waters, J. Appl. Microbiol. 101:44-52. Hassan, W., S. Wang and R.D. Ellender. 2005. Methods to increase the fidelity of rep PCR fingerprints based bacterial source tracking efforts. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71(1): 512-518.

Harwood, V.J., B. Wiggins, C. Hagedorn, R.D. Ellender, J. Gooch, J. Kern, M. Samadpour, A.C.H. Chapman and B.J. Robinson. 2003. Phenotypic library-based microbial source tracking methods: Efficacy in the California Collaborative Study. J. Water and Health 1: 153-166.

Wail Hassan, Shiao Wang and R.D. Ellender 2007. Fidelity of Bacterial Source Tracking: Escherichia coli versus Enterococci spp. and minimizing assignment of isolates from non library sources. J. of Applied Microbiology, 102:591-598.

Robinson, B., K. Ritter and R.D. Ellender. 2007. A statistical approach of disproportional versus proportional microbial source tracking libraries. J. Water and Health (in press, April 2007) Shrimp Tissue Culure:

Braasch, D., R.D. Ellender and B.L. Middlebrooks. 1999. Cell cycle components and their potential impact on the development of continuous in vitro penaeid cell replication. Methods in Cell Science 21: 255-261.

Ellender, R., A. Najafabadi and B. Middlebrooks. 1992. Observations on the primary culture of Penaeus hemocytes. Journal of Crustacean Biology 12(2):178-185.

Environmental Virology:

Ellender, R.D., J.B. Anderson and R.B. Dunbar. 1987. Role of sediment in the persistence and transport of enteric viruses in the estuarine environment. In: Viruses in soils sediments and sludges, V. Chalapati Rao & J.L. Melnick, (eds.), CRC Press Boca Raton, FL., pgs. 37-55