Barbara Campbell

Associate Professor

Contact Information

155-B Life Sciences Facility
Phone: 864-656-0559
Fax: 864-656-0435


  • PhD, Microbiology, Cornell University, 1993
  • B.S. Biology, Chemistry minor, SUNY Geneseo
  • Post-doctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health and University of Delaware

Research Interests

We know that microbes are the most abundant organisms on the planet and are found in every conceivable habitat. However, we know very little about what microbes are actually doing. My goals are to understand the roles of bacteria in biogeochemical cycling of important compounds in numerous habitats, from the deep sea and coastal ocean to the Arctic tundra.  The emphasis in my lab is to use genomics and transcriptomics of populations combined with measuring environmental parameters in order to understand the importance of microbes in the environment.  I presently have five ongoing projects funded by national agencies (NSF, DOE, NOAA) in my laboratory: 1) measuring bacterial activity and growth rates using molecular approaches and relating activity to the environment (see Campbell et al., PNAS, 2011); we are currently examining activity in relation to biotic and abiotic factors in the river-estuarine-coastal gradient (Ludovic Besaury, Nattasha Vinas, Eric Jakubowski, Milap Patel, recruiting a student); 2) using metagenomics/metatranscriptomics to investigate temporal bacterial community and activity changes in the same estuarine gradient (Ludovic Besaury, Jean Lim, recruiting a student); 3) using metagenomics/ metatranscriptomics to investigate the roles of Lucinid (clams) endosymbionts in pristine and impacted coastal environments (Jean Lim); 4) developing high-throughput sequencing approaches to investigate the presence, persistence and activity of fecal indicator bacteria and potential pathogens such as Helicobacter and Campylobacter in aquatic environments (see Twing et al., Water Research, 2011, Teddy Stoikov); and 5) characterizing a novel nitrogen assimilation pathway in a thermophilic deep-sea Epsilonproteobacteria isolated from hydrothermal vents as well as in human-associated campylobacters (see Campbell et al., PLoS Genetics, 2009, Marco Valera, Kevin Ketner).

I am looking for PhD students that are interested in field and laboratory work as well as bioinformatics for the estuarine projects investigating both bacterial activity and carbon cycling links between terrestrial and marine systems.

Visit my research lab website.

Selected Publications

    1. Thomas E. Hanson, Barbara J. Campbell*, Katie M. Kalis, Mark A. Campbell, and Martin G. Klotz. 2014. 
      Nitrate ammonification by Nautilia profundicola AmH: experimental evidence consistent with a free hydroxylamine intermediate.
      Frontiers in Microbiology. 
    2. Campbell BJ.  2014. The Acidobacteriaceae.  In:  The Prokaryotes.  Ed. Ed Delong, Eugene Rosenberg, Erko Stackebrand, Fabiano Thompson, Stephen Lory; publisher: Springer.
    3. Campbell BJ, Polson SW, Allen, LZ, Williamson, SJ, Lee CK, Wommack KE, and Cary SC.  2013. Differential diversity and composition of microbial communities between basalt- and sediment-based hydrothermal vent spreading centers. Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00182.
    4. Hanson TE, Campbell BJ, Kalis, KT, Campbell M, and Klotz MG.  2013. Nitrate ammonification by Nautilia profundicola AmH: experimental evidence consistent with a free hydroxylamine intermediate. Frontiers in Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00180.
    5. Campbell BJ and Kirchman DL. 2013. Bacterial diversity, community structure and potential growth rates along an estuarine salinity gradient. ISME Journal 4: 210-220.
    6. Rossmassler K, Engel A, Twing KI, Hanson TE, and Campbell BJ. 2011. Drivers of Epsilonproteobacteria community composition in sulfidic caves and springs. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 79:421-432.
    7. Campbell BJ, Yu L, Heidelberg J, and Kirchman DL. 2011.  Activity of abundant and rare bacteria in a coastal ocean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 108: 12776-12781.
    8. Twing K, Kirchman DL and Campbell BJ.  2011. Temporal study of Helicobacter pylori presence in coastal freshwater, estuary and marine waters. Water Research, 45:1897-1905.
    9. Campbell BJ, Paulson SW, Hanson TE, Mack MC, and Schuur EAG. 2010. The effect of nutrient deposition on bacterial communities in Arctic tundra soil. Environmental Microbiology, 12:1842-1854.
    10. Campbell BJ, Yu, L, Straza, TRA, Kirchman, DL. 2009. Temporal changes in bacterial rRNA and rRNA genes in Delaware (USA) coastal waters. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 57:123-135.
    11. Lami R, Cottrell MT, Campbell BJ, and DL Kirchman.  2009. Light-dependent growth and proteorhodopsin expression by Flavobacteria and SAR11 in experiments with Delaware coastal waters. Environmental Microbiology, 11:3201-3209.
    12. Campbell BJ, Smith JL, Hanson TE, Klotz MG, Stein LY,  Lee CK, Wu D, Robinson JM, Khouri HM, Eisen JA, and Cary SC. 2009. Adaptations to submarine hydrothermal environments exemplified by the genome of Nautilia profundicola.  PLoS Genetics, 5:e1000362.
    13. Grzymski JJ, Murray AE, Campbell BJ, Kaplarevic M, Gao GR, Lee C, Daniel R, Ghadiri A, Feldman RA, and Cary SC.  2008. Metagenome analysis of an extreme microbial symbiosis reveals eurythermal adaptation and metabolic flexibility.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 105:17516-17521.
    14. Smith JL, Campbell BJ, Hanson TE, Zhang CL and Cary SC.  2008. Nautilia profundicola sp. nov., a thermophilic sulfur-reducing episolonproteobacterium from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 58:1598-1602.
    15. Campbell BJ, Waidner LA, Cottrell MT, and Kirchman DL. 2008. Abundant proteorhodopsin genes in the North Atlantic Ocean.  Environmental Microbiology, 10:99-109.
    16. Campbell BJ, Engel AS, Porter ML and Takai K. 2006. The versatile ε-proteobacteria: key players in sulphidic habitats.  Nature Reviews Microbiology, 4:458-46

Recent Courses

  • Micro 804 Practical Bioinformatics for Microbiologists, Spring 2013
  • Micr 4910 Research Experience for Undergraduates, Spring 2013, Fall 2013
  • Micr 4010 Microbial Diversity and Ecology, Micr 4031 Microbial Diversity and Ecology Lab

Current Lab Members

  • Ludovic Besaury, postdoctoral associate
  • Susanne Bisschops, technician
  • Jean Shen Lim, graduate student
  • Marco Valera, graduate student
  • Nattasha Vinas, graduate student
  • Kevin Ketner, undergraduate
  • Eric Jakubowski, undergraduate
  • Milap Patel, undergraduate
  • Teddy Stoikov, undergraduate
  • Tara Brown, undergraduate
  • Tianna Gore, undergraduate

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Microbiology
  • International Society for Microbial Ecology