Michael F. Cohen

Professor of Biology
Ph.D. University of California (Davis), 1996
Voicemail: (707) 664-3413
Email: cohenm@sonoma.edu
Office: Darwin 222

Postdoctoral Experience:

Veterans Administration Hospital (Sepulveda, CA), University of Ryukyus (Okinawa, Japan), USDA-Agricultural Research Service (Wenatchee, WA).

Research Interests:

Environmental Microbiology, Plant-Microbe Interactions, Sudden Oak Death, Nitric Oxide Biology; Bioremediation; Anaerobic Digestion; The Azolla Holobiont.

Research Program:

In my laboratory we study a diverse array of environmental microbes. A collaboration with colleagues in the Department of Biology examines the impact of leaf-dwelling microorganisms on the severity and spread of Sudden Oak Death disease caused by Phytophthora ramorum. Research carried out in conjunction with scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Infrared Structural Biology Program investigates the cellulose-degrading capacity of alkaline tolerant bacteria as well as the process of rapid root abscission in the floating water fern Azolla. Another major research effort of my lab is the development of affordable systems for concomitant bioremediation and bioenergy production. A multi-year project with the City of Santa Rosa tested the capacity of channelized scrubbers to remove residual nutrients and other pollutants from treated municipal wastewater and optimized anaerobic digestion of the harvested wetland biomass, mixed with agricultural by-products from local dairies and wineries, to produce methane gas.

Recent Publications:

A full list of publications with links to pdfs can be found at the Bashan Foundation website.

Yamasaki H, Cohen MF (2016) Biological consilience of hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide in plants: Gases of primordial earth linking plant, microbial and animal physiologies. Nitric Oxide. 55-5691-100.

Johnston SF, Cohen MF, Torok T, Meentemeyer RK, Rank NE (2016) Host phenology and leaf effects on susceptibility of California bay laurel to Phytophthora ramorum. Phytopathology 106(1):47-55.

Yamasaki H, Watanabe NS, Sakihama Y, Cohen MF (2016) An overview of methods in plant NO research: Why do we always need to use multiple methods? In: Methods in molecular biology: Plant nitric oxide research: methods & protocols. KJ Gupta Ed. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ. 1424:1-14.

Kiseleva L, Garushyants SK, Ma H, Simpson DJW, Fedorovich V, Cohen MF, Goryanin I (2015) Taxonomic and functional metagenomic analysis of anodic communities in two pilot-scale microbial fuel cells treating different industrial wastewaters. J Integr Bioinform 12(1):273, 2015.

Cohen MF, Gurung S, Birarda G, Holman H-Y, Yamasaki H (2015) Bimodal effect of hydrogen peroxide and oxidative events in nitrite-induced rapid root abscission by the water fern Azolla pinnata. Frontiers Plant Sci 6:00158.

Kiseleva L, Garushyants SK, Briliute J, Simpson DJW, Cohen MF, Goryanin I (2015) Genome sequence of the electrogenic petroleum-degrading Thalassospira sp. strain HJ. Genome Announc 3(3):e00483-15.

Cohen MF, Hu P, Nguyen MV, Kamennaya N, Brown N, Woyke T, Kyrpides N, Holman HY, Torok T (2015) Genome sequence of the alkaline-tolerant Cellulomonas sp. strain FA1. Genome Announc 3(3):e00646-15.

Cohen MF, Gurung S, Fukuto JM, Yamasaki H (2014) Controlled free radical attack in the apoplast: A hypothesis for roles of O, N and S species in regulatory and polysaccharide cleavage events during rapid abscission by Azolla. Plant Sci 217–218:120–126.

Gurung S, Cohen MF, Yamasaki H (2014) Azide-dependent nitric oxide emission from the water fern Azolla pinnata. Russ J Plant Physiol 61(4):543-547.

Yamasaki H, Watanabe NS, Fukuto J, Cohen MF (2014) Nitrite-dependent nitric oxide production pathway: diversity of NO production systems. In: Oxidative Stress in Applied Basic Research and Clinical Practice - Pediatric Disorders, H Tsukahara, K Kaneko, RH Steinhorn, Eds., Springer-Verlag, New York, p. 35-54.

Cohen MF, Hare C, Kozlowski J, McCormick RS, Chen L, Schneider L, Parish M, Knight Z, Nelson TA, Grewell B (2013) Wastewater polishing by a channelized macrophyte-dominated wetland and anaerobic digestion of the harvested phytomass. J Environ Sci Health 48(3):319-330.

Course Offerings:

Molecular and Cell Biology; General Bacteriology; Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology; Microbiomes.