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

David M. Ward

Professor; Ph.D. 1975, M.S. 1973, University of Wisconsin; B.S. 1971, Ohio State University. Principles of microbial diversity, ecology and evolution; local to global patterns of composition, structure and function of microbial mat communities in hot springs;  ecology of contaminant-degrading microbes; interpretation of  the geochemical record of microbial life; outreach education.

Recent Publications:

  • Liu, Z., C.G. Klatt, M. Ludwig, D.B. Rusch, S.I. Jensen, M. Kühl, D.M. Ward and D.A. Bryant. 2012. 'Candidatus Thermochlorobacter aerophilum': an aerobic chlorophotoheterotrophic member of the phylum Chlorobi defined by metagenomics and metatranscriptomics. ISME J. available in advance of publication online.
  • Garcia Costas, A.M. Z. Liu, L.P. Tomsho, S.C. Schuster, D.M. Ward and D.A. Bryant. 2011. Complete genome of Candidatus Chloracidobacterium thermophilum, a chlorophyll-based photoheterotroph belonging to the Phylum Acidobacteria. Environ. Microbiol. 14:177-190.
  • Becraft, E.D., F.M. Cohan, M. Kühl, S.I. Jensen and D.M. Ward. 2011. Fine-scale distribution patterns of Synechococcus ecological diversity in the microbial mat of Mushroom Spring, Yellowstone National Park. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77:7689-7697.
  • Liu, Z., C.G. Klatt, J.M. Wood, D.B. Rusch, M. Ludwig, N. Wittekindt, L.P. Tomsho, S.C. Schuster, D.M. Ward and D.A. Bryant. 2011. Metatranscriptomic analyses of chlorophototrophs of a hot spring microbial mat. ISME J. 5:1279-1290.
  • Klatt, C.G., J.M. Wood, D.B. Rusch, M.M. Bateson, N. Hamamura, J. F. Heidelberg, A. R. Grossman, D. Bhaya, F.M. Cohan, M. Kühl, D.A. Bryant and D.M. Ward. 2011. Community ecology of hot spring cyanobacterial mats: predominant populations and their functional potential. ISME J. 5:1262-1278.
  • Ward, D.M., R.W. Castenholz and S.R. Miller. 2011. Cyanobacteria in geothermal habitats. In: Ecology of Cyanobacteria, 2nd Ed. (B.A. Whitton, ed.) Springer, in press
  • Ward, D.M., M.C. Melendrez, E.D. Becraft, C.G. Klatt, J. Wood and F.M. Cohan. 2011. Metagenomic approaches for the identification of microbial species, in Handbook of molecular microbial ecology I: metagenomics and complementary approaches (F. J. de Bruijn, ed.) Wiley.
  • Ward, D.M., C.G. Klatt, J. Wood, F.M. Cohan and D.A. Bryant. 2011. Functional genomics in an ecological and evolutionary context: maximizing the value of genomes in systems biology In: Burnap RL, Vermaas W (eds) Functional Genomics and Evolution of Photosynthetic Systems. Vol. 33. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands: in press
  • Bryant, D.A., C.G. Klatt, N.-U. Frigaard, Z. Liu, T. Li, F. Zhao, A.M. Garcia Costas, J. Overmann and D.M. Ward. 2011. Comparative and functional genomics of anoxygenic green bacteria from the taxa Chlorobi, Chloroflexi, and Acidobacteria, in R.L. Burnap and W. Vermaas (eds.) Functional Genomics and Evolution of Photosynthetic Systems
  • Melendrez, M.C., R.K. Lange, F.M. Cohan and D.M. Ward. 2011. Influence of molecular resolution on sequence-based discovery of ecological diversity among Synechococcus populations in an alkaline siliceous hot spring microbial mat. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77:1359-1367.
  • Van der Meer M.T.J., C.G. Klatt, J. Wood, D.A. Bryant, M.M. Bateson, L. Lammerts, S. Schouten, J. S. Sinninghe Damsté, M.T. Madigan and D.M. Ward. 2010. Cultivation and genomic, nutritional and lipid biomarker characterization of Roseiflexus strains closely related to predominant in situ populations inhabiting Yellowstone hot spring microbial mats. J. Bacteriol. 192:3033-3042.
  • Taffs, R. J.E. Aston, K. Brileya, Z. Jay, C.G. Klatt, S. McGlynn, N. Mallette, S. Montross, R. Gerlach, W.P. Inskeep, D.M Ward and R.P. Carlson (2009) In silico approaches to study mass and energy flows in microbial consortia: a syntrophic case study BMC Systems Biology 3:114 doi: 10.1186/1752-0509-3-114
  • Hamamura, N., M. Fukui, D.M. Ward, David and W.I. Inskeep. 2008. Assessing soil microbial populations responding to crude-oil amendment at different temperatures using phylogenetic, functional gene (alkB) and physiological analyses. Env. Sci. Technol. 42:7580-7586.

Recent Grants:

  • “Microbial Interactions in Natural Communities: Yellowstone National Park Hot Spring Phototrophic Mats. subaward from DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory”, $575,000, 10-1-11 to 9-30-14.
  • “Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analysis of anoxygenic, chlorophototrophic microbial mat communities in Yellowstone National Park”, DA Bryant and DM Ward, co-PIs, DOE Joint Genome Initiative Community Sequencing Program, 9/2010-continuing, ~$400,000 worth of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing.
  • “Microbial Communities: Theory and Practice”, I. Klapper (PI), DM Ward and R Carlson (co-PIs), NSF Mathematical Sciences, 10-1-10 to 9-30-13, $250,000 (~$30,000 to Ward).
  • “Structure and function of microbial communities associated with selected Yellowstone National Park hot springs”, Ward, DM and WP Inskeep (co-PIs), DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 12-7-09-9/30/12, $900,000.
  • “Molecular and geochemical analysis of anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria in hot spring microbial mats as stromatolite analogs”,DM Ward (PI), DA Bryant (co-PI), NASA Exobiology Program, 5/1/09-4/31/12, $684194.
  • “Species diversity: the fundamental basis for efficient energy capture in a model photosynthetic microbial community”, Ward, DM (PI) with DA Bryant, FM Cohan and D. Rusch as co-PIs, DOE Joint Genome Initiative Community Sequencing Program, 6/09-continuing, ~$400,000 worth of genome sequencing.
  • “Synthesis of long-term research on hot spring microbial mats into a monograph on principles of microbial community ecology”, NSF OPUS, 3/15/09 to 3/14/11, $130,000.

Current Instructional Responsibilities:

  • LRES/MB 415 - Microbial Diversity, Ecology and Evolution (Spring, even years)
  • LRES/MB 515 - Microbial Ecology (Spring, odd years)

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