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Juliette Rooney-Varga

Juliette Rooney Varga
Juliette N. Rooney-VargaAssociate Professor, Director

Research Interests

Climate Change and Sustainability, Microbial Ecology, Biogeochemistry

Her microbial ecology research has spanned diverse topics related to carbon cycling, climate change, and energy; from feedback loops in microbial production of methane in the Arctic and the climate system, to harnessing electricity produced by anaerobic microorganisms in soil. She is currently leading the NASA-funded CAM (Climate Education in an Age of Media) Project that puts the tools of media-making into the hands of students, in order to engage them with climate change science and empower them to add their own voices to the societal discourse about an issue that will impact younger generations significantly. She is also working closely with Climate Interactive, an organization that is at the forefront of creating decision-support simulations around climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy. With support from the National Science Foundation, Rooney-VargaÍs group and Climate Interactive are bringing decision-support simulations into immersive role-playing exercises that enable students, citizens, and decision-makers to come to their own insights, grounded in current scientific understanding, about the impacts of national and regional climate and energy choices and policies.

Education

  • Ph D: Microbiology, (1997), University of New Hampshire - New Hampshire
  • MS: Natural Resources, (1994), Cornell University - Ithaca, NY
  • BA: Biology, (1991), Colby College - Waterville, Maine

Awards and Honors

  • Sigma Xi Northeast Regional Young Investigator Award (2005), Scholarship/Research - Sigma Xi
  • Sigma Xi Northeast Regional Young Investigator Award (2005) - Sigma Xi Northeast Regional
  • Award for Excellence in Teaching (2003), Teaching - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Award for Course Website Excellence (2000), Teaching - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Elected Member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society (1999) - Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (1992), Scholarship/Research - Phi Kappa Phi, Cornell University
  • Samuel Coit Biology Prize (1991) - Colby College
  • Charles A. Dana Award for Academic Excellence (1990), Scholarship/Research - Colby College
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society (1990) - Colby College

Publications

  • Putko, M.M., Rooney-Varga, J.N. (2016) "World energy in engineering design," American Society for Engineering Education 2016-June:
  • Rooney-Varga, J.N., Brisk, A.A., Adams, E., Shuldman, M., Rath, K. (2014) "Student Media Production to Meet Challenges in Climate Change Science Education," Journal of Geoscience Education 62:4 pp. 598–608
  • Sterman, J., Franck, T., Fiddaman, T., Jones, A., McCauley, S., Rice, P., Sawin, E., Siegel, L., Rooney-Varga, J.N. (2014) "WORLD CLIMATE: A Role-Play Simulation of Climate Negotiations," Simulation & Gaming pp. 1046878113514935
  • Rooney-varga, J., Franck, T., Jones, A., Sterman, J., Sawin, E. (2013) "Merging Energy Policy Decision Support, Education, and Communication: The’World Energy’Simulation Role-Playing Game," AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1: pp. 07
  • Dunaj, S.J., Vallino, J.J., Hines, M.E., Gay, M., Kobyljanec, C., Rooney-Varga, J.N. (2012) "Relationships between soil organic matter, nutrients, bacterial community structure, and the performance of microbial fuel cells," Environmental science & technology 46:3 pp. 1914-1922
  • Li, W.K., Andersen, R.A., Gifford, D.J., Incze, L.S., Martin, J.L., Pilskaln, C.H., Rooney-Varga, J.N., Sieracki, M.E., Wilson, W.H., Wolff, N.H. (2011) "Planktonic microbes in the Gulf of Maine area," PloS one 6:6
  • Goyal, D., Zhang, X.J., Rooney-Varga, J.N. (2010) "Impacts of single-walled carbon nanotubes on microbial community structure in activated sludge," Letters in applied microbiology 51:4 pp. 428-435
  • Hines, M.E., Duddleston, K.N., Rooney-Varga, J.N., Fields, D., Chanton, J.P. (2008) "Uncoupling of acetate degradation from methane formation in Alaskan wetlands: Connections to vegetation distribution," Global Biogeochemical Cycles 22:2
  • Rooney-Varga, J.N., Giewat, M.W., Duddleston, K.N., Chanton, J.P., Hines, M.E. (2007) "Links between archaeal community structure, vegetation type and methanogenic pathway in Alaskan peatlands," FEMS microbiology ecology 60:2 pp. 240-251
  • Hasegawa, Y., Martin, J.L., Giewat, M.W., Rooney-Varga, J.N. (2007) "Microbial community diversity in the phycosphere of natural populations of the toxic alga, Alexandrium fundyense," Environmental microbiology 9:12 pp. 3108-3121
  • Rooney-Varga, J.N., Martin, J.L., Graves, M. (2007) "Microeukaryote diversity in the Gulf of Maine: Under-explored microbial diversity in a well-studied coastal marine ecosystem,"
  • Zhang, X., Brussee, K., Coutinho, C.T., Rooney-Varga, J.N. (2006) "Chemical stress induced by copper: examination of a biofilm system," Water Science & Technology 54:9 pp. 191-199
  • Hasegawa, Y., Martin, J.L., LeGresley, M., Burke, T., Rooney-Varga, J.N. (2005) "Interactions Between Bacteria and Toxic Dinoflagellates: Analysis of Bacterial Communities Closely Associated with Alexandrium fundyense In Situ,"
  • Rooney-Varga, J.N., Giewat, M.W., Sood, S., Savin, M.C., LeGresley, M., Martin, J.L. (2005) "Links between bacterial and phytoplankton diversity in a coastal marine environment," Microb.Ecol 49: pp. 163-175
  • Rooney-Varga, J.N., Giewat, M.W., Savin, M.C., Sood, S., LeGresley, M. (2005) "Links between phytoplankton and bacterial community dynamics in a coastal marine environment," Microb.Ecol 49: pp. 163-175
  • Jasti, S., Sieracki, M.E., Poulton, N.J., Giewat, M.W., Rooney-Varga, J.N. (2005) "Phylogenetic diversity and specificity of bacteria closely associated with Alexandrium spp. and other phytoplankton," Applied and Environmental Microbiology 71:7 pp. 3483-3494
  • Savin, M.C., Martin, J.L., LeGresley, M., Giewat, M., Rooney-Varga, J.N. (2004) "Plankton Diversity in the Bay of Fundy as Measured by Morphological and Molecular Methods," Moon 34: pp. 206-213
  • Connor, T., Rooney-Varga, J.N., Gamache, R.R., Hines, M.E. (2003) "An inversion algorithm for the detection of methane over the wetlands by open-path FTIR in various atmospheric conditions," ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC OPTICS C/C OF OPTIKA ATMOSFERY I OKEANA 16:3 pp. 237-243
  • Ferrier, M., Martin, J.L., Rooney-Varga, J.N. (2002) "Stimulation of Alexandrium fundyense growth by bacterial assemblages from the Bay of Fundy," Journal of applied microbiology 92:4 pp. 706-716
  • Anderson, R.T., Rooney-Varga, J.N., Gaw, C.V., Lovley, D.R. (1999) "Aromatic and polyaromatic hydrocarbon degradation under Fe (III)-reducing conditions," Water-Resources Investigations Report 99:
  • Rooney-Varga, J.N., Anderson, R.T., Fraga, J.L., Ringelberg, D., Lovley, D.R. (1999) "Microbial communities associated with anaerobic benzene degradation in a petroleum-contaminated aquifer," Applied and Environmental Microbiology 65:7 pp. 3056-3063
  • Hines, M.E., Evans, R.S., Genthner, B.R., Willis, S.G., Friedman, S., Rooney-Varga, J.N., Devereux, R. (1999) "Molecular Phylogenetic and Biogeochemical Studies of Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria in the Rhizosphere ofSpartina alterniflora," Applied and Environmental Microbiology 65:5 pp. 2209-2216
  • Fahey, T.J., Williams, C.J., Rooney-Varga, J.N., Cleveland, C.C., Postek, K.M., Smith, S.D., Bouldin, D.R. (1999) "Nitrogen deposition in and around an intensive agricultural district in central New York," Journal of environmental quality 28:5 pp. 1585-1600
  • Anderson, R.T., Rooney-Varga, J.N., Gaw, C.V., Lovley, D.R. (1998) "Anaerobic benzene oxidation in the Fe (III) reduction zone of petroleum-contaminated aquifers," Environmental science & technology 32:9 pp. 1222-1229
  • Rooney-Varga, J.N., Sharak Genthner, B.R., Devereux, R., Willis, S.G., Friedman, S.D., Hines, M.E. (1998) "Phylogenetic and physiological diversity of sulphate-reducing bacteria isolated from a salt marsh sediment," Systematic and applied microbiology 21:4 pp. 557-568
  • Rooney-Varga, J.N., Devereux, R., Evans, R.S., Hines, M.E. (1997) "Seasonal changes in the relative abundance of uncultivated sulfate-reducing bacteria in a salt marsh sediment and in the rhizosphere of Spartina alterniflora," Applied and Environmental Microbiology 63:10 pp. 3895-3901

Presentations

  • Changing the Odds: Transformative Games to Address Climate Change, October 2012 - Boston, MA
  • Connecting the Dots: Climate Change, UMass Lowell, and You - UMass Lowell Freshman Opening Weekend, September 2012 - Lowell, MA
  • Green Campus Trailblazers Keynote Presentation - Massachusetts Sustainability Conference, April 2012 - Boston, MA
  • Engaging universities, schools, and our broader communities in climate change education - Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference, April 2012 - Boston, MA
  • UMass Lowell Goes Green Event, March 2012 - Lowell, MA
  • Relationships between soil organic matter, nutrients, bacterial community structure, and the performance of microbial fuel cells", January 2012 - Woods Hole, MA
  • Microbial fuel cells: What makes them go? - UMass School of Marine Sciences Annual Research Symposium, January 2012 - Boston, MA
  • Climate Change Education: Student Media Production to Educate, Engage, and Inspire, 2011
  • - NSF-Sponsored Carbon Smarts Conference, October 2011 - University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell MA
  • - iCODE (Internet Community of Design Engineers), 2009 - Lowell, MA
  • Exploring the phycosphere: Links between bacteria and toxic algae in the Gulf of Maine, April 2008 - Amherst, MA
  • Interactions between bacteria and toxic algae: a new way to understand and control harmful algal blooms?, February 2005 - Storrs, CT
  • Bacteria-Phytoplankton Interactions - Census of Marine Life Meeting, 2004 - Boothbay Harbor, ME
  • Marine Microbial Diversity: Links Between Phytoplankton and Bacteria, January 2004
  • Microbial Diversity in the Ocean: New Forms of Life and Ecological Interactions, October 2003 - Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Interactions Between Marine Bacteria and the Toxic Alga, Alexandrium fundyense, March 2002 - North Dartmouth, MA
  • - American Geophysical Union General Meeting, 2001 - Boston MA
  • Microbial Communities Associated with Anaerobic Degradation of Benzene - American Geophysical Union Meeting, June 2001
  • Bacteria-Alexandrium Interactions: Stimulation of Growth and Putative Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Production by Marine Bacteria, January 2001 - Durham, NH
  • Development and Application of a Course Web Site for Principles of Ecology Lecture and Laboratory courses, April 2000 - Lowell, MA
  • Influences of Bacterial Assemblages from the Bay of Fundy on Alexandrium fundyense, January 2000 - Durham, NH
  • Bacterial Community Dynamics and Interactions with Alexandrium spp. in the Gulf of Maine, June 1999
  • Biodegradation of Benzene and Toluene Under Fe(III)-Reducing Conditions, February 1999 - Lowell, MA
  • - American Society for Microbiology General Meeting, 1998
  • Microbial Communities Associated with Anaerobic Benzene Degradation in Petroleum-Contaminated Aquifers, November 1998 - Boston, MA
  • Association of Geobacteraceae spp. with Benzene and Toluene Degradation in an Anoxic Petroleum-Contaminated Aquifer - American Society for Microbiology General Meeting, May 1998
  • Development and Application of Functional Gene Probes to Study Microbial Processes In Situ, December 1997 - Amherst, MA
  • A Molecular Phylogenetic Approach to Studying Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria in a Salt Marsh Sediment, April 1997 - Cambridge, MA
  • "Phylogenetic Diversity and Community Structure of Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria in a Salt Marsh Sediment", October 1996
  • "Population Dynamics of Uncultivated Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria in a Salt Marsh Sediment, August 1996 - Amherst, MA

Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Transforming mental models of climate change through simulations, games, and syst (2013), Grant -
    Rooney-Varga, J.N. (Principal)
  • Transforming Mental Models of Climate Change Through Simulations, Games, and Systems Thinking. (2013), Sponsored Research - National Science Foundation
  • Green Media Project (2013), Contract - National Grid Foundation
  • Climate Change Education: Science, Solutions, and Education in an Age of Media (2010), -
    Rooney-Varga, J.N. (Principal)
  • Climate Change Education: Science, Solutions, and Education in an Age of Media (2010), Sponsored Research - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Investigation of Microbial Fuel Cell Performance (2010), Grant - Sigma Xi
  • Bacterial Diversity in Soil-Based Microbial Fuel Cells. (2010), Sponsored Research - Trophos Energy Inc.
  • Investigation of Microbial Fuel Cell Performance Project (2010), Grant -
    Rooney-Varga, J.N. (Principal)
  • Impact of Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) on the Activity and Microbial Communities of Activated Sludge Used in Wastewater Treatment. (2009), Sponsored Research - UMass Water Resources Research Center
  • Characterization of the microbial community in the particle-rich, marine benthic nepheloid layer (BNL). (2008), Sponsored Research - UMass School of Marine Sciences
  • Microeukaryote diversity in the Gulf of Maine: Under-explored microbial diversity in a well-studied coastal marine ecosystem. (2007), Grant - International Census of Marine Microbes
  • Impact of Nanoparticles on the Activated Sludge Process: Effects on Microbial Com (2009), Grant - GEOLOGICAL SURVEY USGS
    Rooney-Varga, J.N. (Principal)
  • The Impact of Nanomaterials on Microbial Processes and Community Dynamics in Wastewater Reactors. (2007), Sponsored Research - University of Massachusetts Lowell Committee of Federated Centers and Institutes
  • Specificity of bacterial interactions with the red tide alga, Alexandrium fundyense: Can marine bacteria be used to specifically control harmful algal blooms? (2006), Sponsored Research - University of Massachusetts Lowell Committee of Federated Centers and Institutes
  • Technical Consultant, "Microbiological water quality in sensory deprivation tanks at Driftaway Spa." (2006), Contract - Driftaway Spa, Inc.
  • Bacteria-Phytoplankton Interactions: The Influence of Marine Bacteria on Alexandrium spp. Blooms in the Gulf of Maine. (2001), Sponsored Research - National Science Foundation
  • Microbial Community Dynamics in Arctic Peatlands. (2003), Sponsored Research - University of Massachusetts Lowell Committee of Federated Centers and Institutes
  • Collaborative Research: Acetate biogeochemistry in Northern Wetlands: Implications for Methane Formation During Climate Change. (2001), Sponsored Research - National Science Foundation
  • Research Experience for Undergraduates: Acetate Biogeochemistry in Northern Wetlands: Implications for Methane Formation During Climate Change (2001), Sponsored Research - National Science Foundation
  • Bacterial Community Diversity and Interactions with Alexandriumspp spp. In the Gulf of Maine. (2000), Grant - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Bacterial Inhibition of a Toxic Dinoflagellate (Alexandrium fundyense) That Causes Red Tides in the Gulf of Maine. (2000), Grant - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Influence of Marine Bacteria on Growth and Toxin Production by Alexandrium sp. str. CB301. (2000), Sponsored Research - University of Massachusetts Lowell Office of Collaborative Research
  • Relationships between Bacterial Communities (1999), Grant - UMass-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration CMER Program
  • Effects of Natural Anti-Microbial Compounds on Biodegradation of Textiles and Plastics Effects of Natural Anti-Microbial Compounds on Biodegradation of Textiles and Plastics. (1998), Contract - Burlington Scientific, Inc.
  • The Role of Bacteria in the Population Dynamics of Alexandrium spp. in the Gulf of Maine. (1998), Grant - UMass Lowell
  • An In Situ Hybridization Study of a Rhizobacterial Community. (1995), Grant - National Science Foundation