CMMB Program Faculty

William Holben

William Holben


Office: Health Sciences 503A

Personal Website


B.A. State University of New York at Fredonia, 1978
M.S. State University of New York at Buffalo, 1982
Ph.D. State University of New York at Buffalo, 1985

Research Interests

Molecular microbial ecology, molecular genetics, and environmental microbiology.  Ongoing research projects include: Community-level analyses linking bacterial community structure, function, activity and diversity in metal-contaminated and pristine river sediment systems; exploring the role of the microbial community in the success of invasive weeds; examining the role of charcoal from forest fires in controlling the distribution and activity of nitrifying bacteria in forest soils; fate and transport of microbes in the environment; microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract; using the soil bacterial community as an early warning system for elevated CO2.

Field of Study

Molecular microbial ecology

Selected Publications

Kovacik, W.P. Jr., K. Takai, M.R. Mormile, J.P. McKinley, F.J. Brockman, J.K. Fredrickson and W.E. Holben. 2005. Molecular analysis of deep subsurface cretaceous rock indicates abundant Fe(III)- and So-reducing bacteria in a sulfate-rich environment. Environ. Microbiol: doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2005.00876.x

Mummey, D.L., M.C. Rillig and W.E. Holben. 2005. Neighboring plant influences on arbuscular mycorrhiza fungal community composition as assessed by T-RFLP analysis. Plant and Soil: 271:83-90.

Holben, W.E., K.P. Feris, A. Kettunen, and J.H.A. Apajalahti. 2004. GC fractionation enhances microbial community diversity assessment and detection of minority populations of bacteria by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:2263-2270.

Feris, K.P., P.W. Ramsey, M. Rillig, J.N. Moore, J.E. Gannon, and W.E. Holben. 2004. Determining rates of change and evaluating group-level resiliency differences in hyporheic microbial communities in response to fluvial heavy metal deposition. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:4756-4765.

Callaway, R.M., G.C. Thelen, A. Rodriguez, and W.E. Holben. 2004. Soil biota and exotic plant invasion. Nature 427:731-733.

Feris, K. P. Ramsey, C. Frazar, J.N. Moore, J.E. Gannon, and W.E. Holben. 2003. Differences in hyporheic zone microbial community structure along a heavy metal contamination gradient. Appl Environ. Microbiol. 69:5563-5573.

Apajalahti. J.H.A., A.Kettunen, P.H. Nurminen, H. Jatila, and W.E. Holben. 2003. Selective plating underestimates abundance and shows differential recovery of Bifidobacterial species from human feces. Appl. Envir. Microbiol. 69:5731-5735.

Feris, K.P., P.W. Ramsey, C. Frazar, M.C. Rillig, J.E. Gannon, and W.E. Holben. 2003. Structure and seasonal dynamics of hyporheic zone microbial communities in free-stone rivers of the western United States. Microb. Ecol. 46:200-215.

Specialized Research Interests

Microbial ecology

Systems Ecology Title

Professor, Microbial Ecology