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Department of Biological Sciences

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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):
 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.