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Adina Howe

Adina Howe

  • Associate Professor
  • Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
I have broad, interdisciplinary training, including microbiology (University of Iowa, PhD, Environmental Engineering), sustainable development (MS, Purdue University, Environmental Engineering), and engineering (BS, Purdue University, Mechanical Engineering).  Before I came to ISU, I did a postdoc at Michigan State University with C. Titus Brown and James Tiedje where I worked with integrating biological sequencing data to answer questions in microbial ecology. I also was a staff scientist at Argonne National Laboratory where I continued studying microbial communities in environments such as the soil and gut.  I am currently a professor in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.

Contact Info

3346 Elings
605 Bissell Rd.

More Information


My research interests focus on understanding and managing environmental microbial communities. I am involved in projects to identify microbial drivers of biogeochemical cycling and their response to climate change, understanding contributions of microbial genes, individuals, and groups to population function and dynamics, and detection of biomarkers for environmental health. I am interested in unifying large, heterogeneous datasets investigate complex interactions within environment.

Broader Impact

My research studying natural microbial communities impacts our global challenges of sustainably managing climate change, developing bioenergy resources, and understanding human and animal health. By leveraging sequencing technologies, my lab accesses critical microbial processes that impact our daily lives. We work in collaboration with other researchers to unify datasets that help us monitor and manage environmental health and safety.

Key Environmental Science Publications

Aw, T.G., Howe, A., and Rose, J. Metagenomic approaches for direct and cell culture evaluation of the virological quality of wastewater. 2014. Journal of virological methods 210(15):15-21. doi:10.1016/j.viromet.2014.09.017

Williams, R.J., Howe, A., and Hofmockel, K. 2014. Demonstrating microbial co-occurrence patter analyses within and between ecosystems. Frontiers in Microbiology 5(358). doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00358

Howe, A.C., Jansson, J., Malfattie, S., Tringe, S., Tiedje, J., and Brown, C.T. 2014. Tackling soil diversity with the assembly of large, complex metagenomes. PNAS. Accepted February 11, 2014. doi:10.1073/pnas.1402565111.

Chuang, A.S., Jin, Y.O., Schmidt, L.S., Li, Y., and Mattes, T.E. 2010. Proteomic analysis of ethene-enriched groundwater microcosms from a vinyl chloride-contaminated site. Environ. Sci. Technol. 44(5):1594-1601. doi: 10.1021/es903033r.