Anthony Vito Palumbo

Anthony V. Palumbo

Anthony Vito Palumbo

Lead, Genes-to-Ecosystems Facility Initiative


Dr. Anthony V. Palumbo is the lead for the Genes-to-Ecosystems facility initiative at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His research is focused on microbial populations, geochemistry, and contaminants in surface and subsurface environments. His most recent research has been on the role of bacterial communities in mercury transformations in the environment. He has over 20 years of experience investigating the interactions of microbial populations and contaminate degradation and immobilization in surface and subsurface environments. This research has resulted in numerous publications on field and laboratory investigations of degradation of hydrocarbons and VOCs (e.g., TCE, Carbon tetrachloride), the reduction and immobilization of Uranium and analysis of microbial community structure in relation to geochemistry and degradation rates. He previously served eight years as director of the ORNL Biosciences Division.

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Fellow of the American Academy for Microbiology.

2016 Science and Technological Achievement Award (STAA-III) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the paper “Changes in northern Gulf of Mexico sediment bacterial and archaeal communities exposed to hypoxia”, Devereux, R., J. J. Mosher, T. A. Vishnivetskaya, S. D. Brown, D. L. Beddick, D. F. Yates and A. V. Palumbo. 2015. Geobiology. doi: 10.1111/gbi.12142

2002 Certificate of Appreciation, U.S. Department of Energy, Subsurface Contamination Focus Area.
2001 Merit Award from the Society for Technical Communication for Online Communications.
1998 Two Technical Communication Awards from the Society for Technical Communication.
1996 Annual Scientific Achievement Award, Environmental Sciences Division, ORNL.
Two 1995 Royalty-Sharing Awards from Lockheed Martin Energy Systems.


Biosciences Division

Critical Interfaces (mercury) SFA



King, A. J., S. P. Preheim, K. L. Bailey Bailey, M.S. Robeson, II, T. R. Chowdhury, B. R. Crable, R. A. Hurt, Jr., T. Mehlhorn, K. A. Lowe, T. J. Phelps, A. V. Palumbo, C. C. Brandt, S. D. Brown, M. Podar, P. Zhang, W. A. Lancaster, F. Poole, D. B. Watson, M. W. Fields, J-M. Chandonia, E. J. Alm, J. Zhou, M.W. W. Adams, T. C. Hazen, A.P. Arkin, and D.A. Elias. 2017. Temporal Dynamics of In-Field Bioreactor Populations Reflect the Groundwater System and Respond Predictably to Perturbation. Environ. Sci. and Tech. 51(5). DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b04751

Christensen, G., A. Wymore, A. King, M. Podar, R. Hurt Jr., E. F. Santillan, A. Soren, C. C. Brandt, S.D. Brown, A. V. Palumbo, J. Wall, C. C. Gilmour, and D. A. Elias. 2016. Development and Validation of Broad-Range Qualitative and Clade-Specific Quantitative Molecular Probes for Assessing Mercury Methylation in the Environment. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 82:6068-6078, DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01271-16

Podar, M., C. C. Gilmour, C.C. Brandt, A. Soren, S.D. Brown, B.R. Crable, A. V. Palumbo, A. C. Somenahally, D. A. Elias. 2015. Global prevalence and distribution of genes and microorganisms involved in mercury-methylation. Sci. Adv. Vol 1, #9; e1500675 (October) DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500675

Devereux, R., J. J. Mosher, T. A. Vishnivetskaya, S. D. Brown, D. L. Beddick, D. F. Yates and A. V. Palumbo. 2015. Changes in northern Gulf of Mexico sediment bacterial and archaeal communities exposed to hypoxia. Geobiology. doi: 10.1111/gbi.12142

Davison, B. H., C. C. Brandt, A. M. Guss, U. C. Kalluri, A. V. Palumbo, R. Stouder and E. G Webb. 2015. The impact of biotechnological advances on the future of U.S. bioenergy. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. doi: 10.1002/bbb.1549

Vishnivetskaya, T. A., S. D. Hamilton-Brehm, M. Podar, J. J. Mosher, A. V. Palumbo, T. J. Phelps, M. Keller, J. G. Elkins. 2014. Community analysis of plant biomass-degrading microorganisms from Obsidian Pool, Yellowstone National Park. Microbial Ecology. doi: 10.1007/s00248-014-0500-8

Somenahally, A.C., J. J. Mosher, T. Yuan, M. Podar, T. J. Phelps, S. D. Brown,
Z. K. Yang, T. C. Hazen, A. P. Arkin, A. V. Palumbo, J. D. Van Nostrand, J. Z. Zhou, and D. A. Elias. 2013. Hexavalent chromium reduction under fermentative conditions with lactate stimulated native microbial communities. Plos One 8:12; Article Number: e83909; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083909

Utturkar, S. M., A. Bollmann, R. M. Brzoska, D. M. Klingeman, S. E. Epstein, A. V. Palumbo, and S. D. Brown. 2013. Draft genome sequence for Caulobacter sp. strain or37, a bacterium tolerant to heavy metals. Genome Announc 2013, 1(3):e00322-00313

Utturkar, S. M., A. Bollmann, R. M. Brzoska, D. M. Klingeman, S. E. Epstein, A. V. Palumbo, and S. D. Brown. 2013. Draft genome sequence for Ralstonia sp. strain or214, a bacterium with potential for bioremediation. Genome Announc 2013, 1(3):e00321-00313.

Parks, J.M., A. Johs, M. Podar, R. Bridou, R.A. Hurt, S.D. Smith, S.J. Tomanicek, Y. Qian, S.D. Brown, C.C. Brandt, A.V. Palumbo, J.C. Smith, J.D. Wall, D.A. Elias and L. Liang. 2013. The genetic basis for bacterial mercury methylation. Science, 2013.

Campbell, J.H., C. M. Foster, T. Vishnivetskaya, A. G. Campbell, Z. K. Yang, A. Wymore, A. V Palumbo, E. J. Chesler and M. Podar. 2012. Host genetic and environmental effects on mouse intestinal microbiota. ISME Journal 6:2033-2044.

Brown, S. D., M. Podar, D. M. Klingeman, C. M. Johnson, Z. K. Yang, S. M. Utturkar, M.L. Land, J.J. Mosher, R. A. Hurt, T. J. Phelps, A. V. Palumbo, A. P. Arkin, T. C. Hazen, D. A. Elias. 2012. Draft genome Sequences for two metal-reducing Pelosinus fermentans strains isolated from a Cr(VI)-contaminated site and for type strain R7. Journal of Bacteriology 194:5147-5148. DOI: 10.1128/JB.01174-12.

Kostka, J., S. Green, L. Rishishwar, O. Prakash, L., Katz, L. Marino-Ramirez, I. King Jordan, C. Munk, N. Ivanova, N. Mikhailova, D. Watson, S.D. Brown, A.V. Palumbo, and S. Brooks. 2012. Genome sequences for six Rhodanobacter strains isolated from soils and the terrestrial subsurface with variable denitrification capabilities. Journal of Bacteriology. 194:4461-4462.

Hurt, R. A., S. D. Brown, M. Podar, A. V. Palumbo, and D. A. Elias. 2012. Sequencing intractable DNA to close microbial genomes. PLoS ONE 7(7): e41295. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041295

Brown, S. D., A. V. Palumbo, N. Panikov, T. Ariyawansa, D. M. Klingeman, C. M. Johnson, M. L. Land, S. M. Utturkar, and S. S. Epstein. 2012. Draft Genome Sequence for Microbacterium laevaniformans (Actinobacteria) strain OR221, a bacterium tolerant to metals, nitrate and low pH. Journal of Bacteriology 194:3279-3280. DOI: 10.1128/JB.00474-12.

Moberly, J. G., C. Miller., S.D. Brown, A. Biswas, C. C. Brandt, A. V. Palumbo, D. A. Elias. 2012. Role of Physiology and Gene Expression in Desulfovibrio africanus strain Walvis Bay Mercury Methylation. Environ. Sci. and Tech. 46:4926-4932.

Mosher, J. J., T. A. Vishnivetskaya, D. A. Elias, M. Podar, S. C. Brooks, S. D. Brown, C. C. Brandt and A. V. Palumbo. 2012. Characterization of the Deltaproteobacteria in contaminated and uncontaminated surface stream sediments and identification of potential mercury methylators. Aquatic Microbial Ecology. 66:271-282.

Akob, D. M., S. H. Lee, M. Sheth, K. Küsel, D. B. Watson, A. V. Palumbo, J. E. Kostka, and Kuk-Jeong Chin. 2012. Gene expression correlates with process rates quantified for sulfate- and Fe(III)-reducing bacteria in U(VI)-contaminated sediments. Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology. 3:280.
doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00280

Layton, A. C., A. E. Smartt, A. Chauhan, S. Ripp, D. E. Williams, W. Burton, S. Moser, J. Phillips, A. V. Palumbo, and G. S. Sayler. 2012. Ameliorating risk: Culturable and metagenomic monitoring of the 14 year decline of a genetically engineered microorganism at a bioremediation field site. J. Bioremed. Biodegrad. S1:1:009 doi: 10.4172/2155-6199.S1-009. .

Mosher, J. J., T. J. Phelps, M. Podar, R. A. Hurt Jr., J. H. Campbell, M. M. Drake, J. G. Moberly, C. W. Schadt, S. D. Brown, T. C. Hazen, A. P. Arkin, A. V. Palumbo, B. A. Faybishenko, and D. A. Elias. 2012. Microbial community succession during lactate amendment and electron acceptor limitation reveals a predominance of metal-reducing Pelosinus spp. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78:2082-2091.


Zhou, J. Z., B.C. Xia, D. S. Treves, L. Y. Wu, T. L. Marsh, R. V. O'Neill, A. V. Palumbo and J. M. Tiedje. 2002. Spatial and resource factors as causes for high soil microbial diversity. Appl. Envrion. Microbiol. 68: 326-334.

Ferguson, R. L., E. A. Buckley, and A. V. Palumbo. 1984. Response of marine bacterio¬plankton to differential filtration and confinement. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 47:49-55.

Little, C. D., A. V. Palumbo, S. E. Herbes, M. E. Lindstrom, R. L. Tyndall, and P. J. Gilmer. 1988. Trichloroethylene biodegradation by pure cultures of a methane-oxidizing bacterium. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 54:951-956.

Qiu, X., L. Wu, H. Huang, P. E. McDonel, A. V. Palumbo, J. M. Tiedje, J. Zhou. 2001. Evaluation of PCR generated chimeras, mutations, and heteroduplex with 16S ribosomal RNA gene based cloning. Appl. and Environ. Micro. 67:880 887.

Hurt, R. A., X. Qiu, L. Wu, Y. Roh, A. V. Palumbo, J. M. Tiedje, and J. Zhou. 2001. Simultaneous recovery of RNA and DNA from soils and sediments. Appl. and Environ. Micro. 67: 4495 4503.

Gu, B., T. J. Phelps, L. Liang, M. J. Dickey, Y. Roh, B. L. Kinsall, A. V. Palumbo, and G. K. Jacobs. 1999. Biogeochemical interactions in zero-valent iron packed columns: Implications for the permeable reactive barriers. Environ. Sci. and Tech. 33:2170 2177.

DeAngelis, D. L., W. M. Post, P. J. Mulholland, A. L. Steinman, and A. V. Palumbo. 1991. Nutrient limitation and the structure of food webs. Ecology International 19:15-29.

Liu, X., S. M. Tiquia, G. Holguin, L.Wu, S.C. Nold, A.H. Devol, K. Lou, A.V. Palumbo, J. M. Tiedje, and J-Z. Zhou. 2003. Molecular diversity of denitrifying genes in continental margin sediments within the oxygen deficient zone of the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Appl. Envrion. Microbiol. 69:3549-3560.

DeAngelis, D. L., J. W. Elwood, P. J. Mulholland, A. D. Steinman, and A. V. Palumbo. 1989. Nutrient Cycling and Food Web Stability. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 20:71-95.

McCarthy, J. F., T. M. Williams, L. Liang, P. M. Jardine, L. W. Jolley, D. L. Taylor, A. V. Palumbo, and L. W. Cooper. 1993. Mobility of natural organic matter in a sandy aquifer. Environ. Sci. Technol. 27:667-676.


Patent No. 5,807,697. Strong-Gunderson, J. M. and A. V. Palumbo. Biological Tracer Method.
Patent No. 629,146. Cochran, J., T. J. Phelps, J. M. McCarthy, and A. V. Palumbo. Position sensitive radioactivity detector for gas and liquid chromatography.
Patent No. 7,569,737. T. J. Phelps, C. Tsouris, A. V Palumbo, D. E. Riestenberg, and S. D. McCallum. Method for excluding salt and other soluble materials from produced water.