Skip to main content

Kevin T. Finneran

Kevin T. FinneranProfessorKevin Finneran
168 Rich Laboratory
342 Computer Court
Anderson, SC 29625-6510
864.656.0672 FAX

312 Biosystems Research Complex (BRC)
105 Collings Street
Clemson, SC 29634

Ph.D. Microbiology, 2001, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
B.S. Environmental Sciences, 1996, Rutgers University

Classes | Publications | Honors | CV

Research Group Webpage:
Business Homepage:

Faculty Overview

Kevin Finneran received a B.S. degree in Environmental Sciences (1996) from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in Microbiology (2001) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. From 2002 to 2004 Dr. Finneran was an Environmental Microbiologist with GeoSyntec Incorporated in the Boston-Area office. His work at GeoSyntec included both basic research and applied field bioremediation investigations. He was a member of the faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign from 2004 to 2010. He joined Clemson EEES in the Fall of 2010. Dr. Finneran is a member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the American Chemical Society (ACS). He serves on the editorial board of Soil and Sediment Contamination: An International Journal. He is a member of the scientific advisory board for the Association for Environmental Health Sciences (AEHS) bi-annual Contaminated Soils, Sediments, and Water conference, and is co-editor-in-chief for the associated journal. He currently consults for Burns & McDonnell Incorporates, and has served as consultant for The Carus Corporation. Most recently, Professor Finneran was named a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Science.

Research Overview:
Dr. Finneran’s research focuses on anaerobic microbial ecology, emphasizing basic microbial physiology and its role in biodegradation and biofuel production and how it can be adapted for specific applications. Metabolic pathways, microbial community and population dynamics, and competing factors that influence contaminant fate and transport are investigated using pure cultures, mixed cultures, and contaminated aquifer material. Biofuel production focuses on Clostridium beijerinckii, and how to alter fermentative physiology using external influences, and how different challenges can redirect electron and carbon flow in fermentative metabolism. Most recently, research has focused on mixed biological-abiotic reactions that drive contaminant transformation both in situ and ex situ, using Fe(III)-reducing microorganisms as well as photosynthetic microbes (Rhodobacter spp.) Research is conducted with pure cultures and aquifer material at the bench scale and adapted to larger scales when appropriate.

Professor Kevin Finneran is a Co-PI on the Department of Energy, Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Implementation Project "Radionuclide Waste Disposal: Development of Multi-scale Experimental and Modeling Capabilities" (2014-Present)

Class Information

For current syllabi, please search the Clemson University Syllabus Repository.

EES 2020 Environmental Engineering Fundamentals II
EES 4010
Environmental Engineering
EES 4370/6370
 Biodegradation and Bioremediation
EES 8510 Biological Principles in Environmental Engineering

Selected Publications

Li, B., Pales, A.R., Clifford, H.M., Kupis, S., Hennessy, S., Liang, W.-Z., Moysey, S., Powell, B., Finneran, K.T.Darnault, C.J.G., 2018. Preferential flow in the vadose zone and interface dynamics: Impact of microbial exudates. J. Hydrol. 558, 72–89.

doi:10.1016/J.JHYDROL.2017.12.065Popovic, J. and K.T. Finneran, 2017, Electron shuttling to ferrihydrite selects for fermentative rather than Fe3+—reducing biomass in xylose—fed batch reactors derived from three different inoculum sources, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Early View, DOI: 10.1002/bit.26494

Popovic, J., Ye. X., Haluska, A., and K.T. Finneran, 2017, Increasing xylose consumption and butanol production with ferric iron and extracellular electron shuttling molecules during fermentation with Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 and a novel, solventogenic Bacterium, Applied Microbiol Biotechnol, 101:8053-8061

Niedzwiecka, J.B., S.R. Drew, M.A. Schlautman, K.A. Millerick, E. Grubbs, N. Tharayil, and K.T. Finneran, 2017, Iron and Electron Shuttle Mediated (Bio)Degradation of 2,4-Dinitroanisole (DNAN), Environ Sci Technol, 51:10729-10735

Millerick, K.A., Johnston, J.T., Finneran, K.T., 2016. Photobiological transformation of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) using Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Chemosphere 159, 138–144. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.05.056

Azam, H.M., Finneran, K.T., 2014. Fe(III) reduction-mediated phosphate removal as vivianite (Fe3(PO4)2{dot operator}8H2O) in septic system wastewater. Chemosphere 97, 1–9. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.09.032

Niedźwiecka, J.B., Finneran, K.T., 2014. Combined biological and abiotic reactions with iron and Fe( iii )-reducing microorganisms for remediation of explosives and insensitive munitions (IM). Environ. Sci. Water Res. Technol. 1, 34–39. doi:10.1039/C4EW00062E

Kwon, M.J., Wei, N., Millerick, K., Popovic, J., Finneran, K., 2014. Clostridium geopurificans Strain MJ1 sp. nov., A Strictly Anaerobic Bacterium that Grows via Fermentation and Reduces the Cyclic Nitramine Explosive Hexahydro-1,3,5-Trinitro-1,3,5-Triazine (RDX). Curr. Microbiol. 68, 743–750. doi:10.1007/s00284-014-0531-x

Fanizza, M.F., Yoon, H., Zhang, C., Oostrom, M., Wietsma, T.W., Hess, N.J., Bowden, M.E., Strathmann, T.J., Finneran, K.T., Werth, C.J., 2013. Pore-scale evaluation of uranyl phosphate precipitation in a model groundwater system. Water Resour. Res. 49, 874–890. doi:10.1002/wrcr.20088

Millerick, K., Drew, S.R., Finneran, K.T., 2013. Electron Shuttle-Mediated Biotransformation of Hexahydro-1,3,5- trinitro-1,3,5-triazine Adsorbed to Granular Activated Carbon. Environ. Sci. Technol. 47, 8743–8750. doi:10.1021/es401641s

Azam, H.M., Finneran, K.T., 2013. Ferric iron amendment increases Fe(III)-reducing microbial diversity and carbon oxidation in on-site wastewater systems. Chemosphere 90, 1435–1443. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.09.002

Zhang, X., Ye, X., Guo, B., Finneran, K.T., Zilles, J.L., Morgenroth, E., 2013. Lignocellulosic hydrolysates and extracellular electron shuttles for H2 production using co-culture fermentation with Clostridium beijerinckii and Geobacter metallireducens. Bioresour. Technol. 147, 89–95. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2013.07.106

Wei, N., Finneran, K.T., 2013. Low and high acetate amendments are equally as effective at promoting complete dechlorination of trichloroethylene (TCE). Biodegradation 24, 413–425. doi:10.1007/s10532-012-9598-x

Awards & Honors

Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), 2012

Speaker, German-American Frontiers of Sciences (GAFOS) Symposium, co-sponsored by the NAS and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AVHF)

University of Illinois Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, 2009 & 2010, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

List of Teachers Ranked Excellent by their Students, All semesters Spring 2007 through Fall 2009 (graduate and undergraduate courses)

Best student paper award, Association for Environmental Health Sciences (AEHS) annual east coast conference on contaminated soil, sediment, and water, Amherst, MA, October 2007 (Student: Na Wei), and October 2009 (Student: Kay Dunnett)