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Department of Biological Sciences

Faculty & Staff Directory

Charles R. (Rick) Lovell

Department of Biology
University of South Carolina

Office: CLS 408
Phone Number: (803) 777-7036 (Office) (803) 777-5153 (Lab)
Photo of Dr. Lovell


Professor of Biological Sciences
Ph.D., 1984, Purdue University

Molecular Microbial Ecology; Population and Community Dynamics of Microorganisms; Interactions Between Bacteria and Higher Organisms; Physiology and Ecology of Anaerobic Bacteria

I am a microbial ecologist.  My research addresses the responses of natural bacterial communities to physical, chemical, and biological environmental variables.  My group examines the relationship between microbial diversity and ecological function, and seeks to answer a number of specific questions at the level of ecophysiology, population dynamics and community ecology.  To facilitate this work we focus on specific groups of bacteria that directly contribute to a particular function, such as the diazotrophic bacteria, the sulfate reducing bacteria, and the acetogenic bacteria.  Pathogenesis is another ecological function of interest and current research examines pathogenesis of marine Vibrio species and the specific virulence mechanisms employed by Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Questions addressed in my research:

What is(are) the relationship(s) between microbial diversity and ecological function?

Are species richness and evenness of microbial communities in structured environments governed more by negative interactions of organisms or by positive interactions?

What is the role of refugia in development of large populations of bacterial species?

How do mechanisms contributing to pathogenesis evolve in natural bacterial populations?


Selected publications (of 87 peer reviewed papers and chapters, 64 published abstracts):
Gabriel, M.W., G.Y. Matsui, R. Friedman, and C.R. Lovell. 2014. Optimization of multilocus
   sequence analysis for identification of species in the genus Vibrio. Applied and
   Environmental Microbiology. In press.
Klein, S., C.K. Gutierrez West, D. Mejia and C.R. Lovell. 2014. Genes similar to the Vibrio
   parahaemolyticus virulence-related genes tdh, trh, tlh, and vscC2 occur in other
   Vibrionaceae species isolated from a pristine estuary. Applied and Environmental
   Microbiology 80:595-602.
Gutierrez West, C.K., S.L. Kline and C.R. Lovell. 2013. The virulence factor genes tdh, trh and
   tlh occur at high frequency in Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolated from a pristine estuary.
   Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79:2247-2252.
Pinckney, J., I. Hagenbuch, R. Long, C.R. Lovell. 2013. Sublethal effects of the antibiotic
   tylosin on estuarine benthic microalgal communities. Marine Pollution Bulletin 68:8-12.
Lovell, C.R., and D.A. Davis. 2012. Specificity of salt marsh diazotrophs for vegetation zones
   and plant hosts: Results from a North American marsh.  Frontiers in Microbiology.  3:1-
   15.  doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00084
Gamble, M.D., and C.R. Lovell. 2011. Infaunal burrows are enrichment zones for Vibrio
   parahaemolyticusApplied and Environmental Microbiology 77:3703-3714.
 Matsui, G.Y., N. Volkenborn, L. Polerecky, D.S. Wethey, C.R. Lovell, S.A. Woodin. 2011.
   Controlled induction of bidirectional porewater advection in aquatic sediments by a
   biomimetic Robolug.  Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 9:84-96.
Davis, D., M.D. Gamble, C.E. Bagwell, P.W. Bergholz, and C.R. Lovell. 2011. Responses of
   saltmarsh grass rhizosphere diazotroph assemblages to changes in marsh elevation,
   edaphic conditions and plant host species. Microbial Ecology 61:386-398.
Cramer, M.J., N. Haghshenas, G.Y. Matsui and C.R. Lovell. 2011. Celerinatantimonas
   diazotrophicus, gen. nov., spec. nov., a nitrogen fixing bacterium representing a new
   Family in the Gammaproteobacteria. International Journal of Systematic and
   Evolutionary Microbiology 61:1053-1060.
Gamble, M.D., C.E. Bagwell, J. LaRocque, P.W. Bergholz, and C.R. Lovell. 2010.  Seasonal
   variability of diazotroph assemblages associated with the rhizosphere of the salt marsh
   cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora. Microbial Ecology 59:253-269.