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Kathleen  Scott

Kathleen Scott

Kathleen Scott
Associate Professor

Contact

Office: BSF 132
Phone: 813-974-5173
Lab: BSF 122, BSF 124
Fax: 974-3263
Email: kmscott@usf.edu

Links

Education

Ph.D. Biology, Penn State at University Park, 1998.
Post Doctoral Fellow, Harvard University.

Research

Microbial physiology and biogeochemistry

Autotrophic microorganisms from all three domains of life (Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya) proliferate under a dizzying array of conditions. These organisms fix carbon dioxide while growing in more familiar habitats like lakes and oceans, but also thrive in extreme environments such as terrestrial hot springs, deep-sea hydrothermal vents and hydrocarbon seeps, acid rock drainage, and the subsurface biosphere.
Added to this breadth in habitats is a breadth in history. The three domains of life are believed to have originated rather early in Earth history, by 2.7 billion years ago. Since that time, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has fallen by nearly three orders of magnitude, while atmospheric oxygen, which inhibits some carbon fixing enzymes, has risen from nil to its current level of 21% by volume.

My major research question is, how have these organisms adapted to these changes? How do they fix carbon despite low concentrations of carbon dioxide, and elevated concentrations of oxygen? Have organisms within Bacteria and Archaea devised many different mechanisms for coping with these conditions, or did a few efficient methods (e.g., carbon concentrating mechanisms, carbonic anhydrases) originate fairly early on and are currently used by phylogenetically broad groups of organisms?
Given that many key autotrophic organisms are uncultivable, it is necessary for me to use a rather broad arsenal of methods to study them, including molecular tools and mass spectrometry. Elucidating the answers to the questions I raise above promises to have a substantial effect on our understanding of geochemical cycles and autotroph physiology, as well as their response to anthropogenic increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Specialty Area

Microbial Physiology and Biogeochemistry

Current Courses

RefCourseSecCourse TitleCRDayTimeLocation
11728MCB 4404002Microbial Physiology/Genetics
flyer
3MW

12:30pm-1:45pm

CPR 126
11994MCB 4404L002Microbial Phys/Genetics Lab
1T

11:00am-1:45pm

ISA 3062
23932BSC 4444001Genomics
flyer
3MW

9:30am-10:45am

CMC 209
16360BSC 4910034Undergraduate Research
1



TBA TBA
18446BSC 4910046Undergraduate Research
2



TBA TBA
24438BSC 5931001Genomics
3MW

9:30am-10:45am

CMC 209
17980BSC 6910008Directed Research
1-19



TBA 100
15429BSC 6932008Adv in Micro Ecology
Non Bio Majors CI http://biology.usf.edu/ib/consent.aspx
1M

11:00am-12:00pm

SCA 333
23167BSC 6932013Microbial Phys/Genetics
Non Bio Majors CI required http://biology.usf.edu/ib/consent.aspx
3MW

12:30pm-1:45pm

CPR 126
12139BSC 6971013Thesis: Master's
2-19



TBA TBA
12116BSC 7910031Directed Research
1-19



TBA TBA
15655BSC 7980011Dissertation: Doctoral
2-19



TBA TBA