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, Biological wastewater treatment, Plant-microbe interactions, Nitric oxide biology; Bioremediation; Vermifiltration; Azolla

Research Program:

In my laboratory we study the biology and applications of a diverse array of environmental microbes. One major focus of the lab is developing sustainable systems for treatment of wastewaters through the harnessing microbial metabolism. A multi-year project with the City of Santa Rosa tested the capacity of channelized wetlands to remove residual nutrients and other pollutants from treated municipal wastewater. Additionally, we optimized conditions for anaerobic digestion of the harvested wetland biomass by mixing them with agricultural by-products from local dairies and wineries to produce methane-rich biogas. The resulting digestate was stabilized by vermicomposting for use as a soil amendment. Currently we are collaborating with the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology and D’Argenzio Winery in Santa Rosa to test the application of a microbial fuel cell/vermifiltration-based system for treating winery wastewater. Another collaborative research project having bioenergy implications is our investigation of the lignocellulose-degrading capacity of an alkaline tolerant bacterium isolated from a nearby ultra-basic spring.

Recent Publications:

Khilyas, IV, Sorokin, AA, Kiseleva, L, Simpson DJ, Fedorovich V, Sharipova, MR, Kainuma M, Cohen MF and Goryanin I, (2017). Comparative metagenomic analysis of electrogenic microbial communities in differentially inoculated swine wastewater-fed microbial fuel cells. Scientifica, 2017: Article ID 7616359.

Mazzola M, Agostini A, Cohen MF (2017) Incorporation of Brassica seed meal soil amendment and wheat cultivation for control of Macrophomina phaseolina in strawberry. Eur. J. Plant Path. 149(1): 57-71.

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.