Montana State University

Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173120
Bozeman, MT 59717-3120

Tel: (406) 994-7060
Fax: (406) 994-3933
Location: 334 Leon Johnson Hall

Academic Programs:

Tel: (406) 994-3090

Department Head:

Dr. Tracy M. Sterling

John C. Priscu

Professor; Ph.D. 1982, University of California, Davis; M.S. 1978, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; B.S. 1975, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Microbial biogeochemistry in aquatic systems emphasizing the roles of nitrogen and phosphorus in microbial growth. Life associated with Antarctic ice and its relationship to global change and astrobiology.

Recent Publications:

  • Chyba, C. et al. 2005. Prevention of the Forward Contamination of Mars. The National Academies Press, Washington D.C. 167 p.
  • Hodson, A., A.M. Anesio, M. Tranter, A. Fountain, M. Osborn, J. C. Priscu, J. Laybourn-Parry, B. Sattler. 2007. Glacial ecosystems. Ecological Monographs. In Press.
  • Priscu, J.C. and C.M. Foreman. 2007. Lakes of Antarctica. Encyclopedia of Inland Waters. Elsevier Press. In Press.
  • Barrett, J.E., R.A. Virginia, W.B. Lyons, J.C. Priscu, D.M. Mcknight, P.T. Doran, A.G. Fountain, D.H. Wall and D.L. Moorhead. 2007. Stoichiometric evolution of Antarctic dry valley ecosystems. J. Geophysical Research-Biogeochemistry. 112, G01010, doi:10.1029/2005JG000141.
  • Jepsen, S.M, J.C. Priscu, R.E. Grimm, M.A. Bullock. 2007. The Potential for Lithoautotrophic Life on Mars: Application to Shallow Interfacial-Water Environments. Astrobiology, 7:342-354.
  • Mikucki, J.A. and J.C. Priscu. 2007. Bacterial diversity associated with Blood Falls, A subglacial outflow from the Taylor Glacier, Antarctica. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 73:4029-4039.

Recent Grants:

  • Microbial Diversity and Function in the Permanently Ice-Covered Lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. NSF Microbial Observatories Program. 2003-2008. $1,200,000.
  • The Role of Resource Legacy on Contemporary Linkages Between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Processes in a Cold Desert Ecosystem:  The McMurdo Dry Valley LTER Program. 2005-2011. $7 million/6 years, $619,506/6 years to MSU.
  • Nuclear-Magnetic Resonance and Electrical Measurements of Unfrozen Water in Mars-Analog Materials:  Implications for Habitability at Subfreezing Temperatures on Mars. NASA Exobiology Program. 2006-2009. $99,998 to MSU.
  • Application for cold chambers and associated equipment to complete a subzero science and engineering facility at Montana State University. NSF-MRI Program. 2005-2008. $1,200,000 and Murdoch Charitable Trust ($800,000).
  • Paleo Records of Biotic and Abiotic Particles in Polar Ice Cores. NSF Office of Polar Programs. 2006-2008. $254,827.
  • Environmentally Non-Disturbing Under-ice Robotic ANtarcitC Explorer (ENDURANCE). NASA ASTEP Program. 2007-2010. $4,250,000 ($87,235 to MSU).

Current Instructional Responsibilities:

  • BIOL 102 - Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • BIOL 502 - Energetics in Aquatic Ecosystems

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