Mark A. Schneegurt, PhD
Professor

Office: 407/403 Hubbard Hall
Phone: (316) 978-6883
Fax: (316) 978-3772
Email: mark.schneegurt@wichita.edu

Education
Professional Experience
Research Interests
Courses
Links
Publications


Education

Institution

Degree

Year

Field of Study

Brown University

PhD 1989 Biology

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

MS 1985

Biology

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

BS 1984

Biology


Professional Experience

Professor 2012-present
Biological Sciences, Wichita State University

Professor
Curriculum and Instruction, Wichita State University 2014-present

Coleman Foundation Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship
Barton School of Business, Wichita State University 2014-present

Affiliated Faculty
Biomedical Engineering, Wichita State University 2013-present

Courses

General Biology I
General Microbiology
Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Links

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Research Interests

Microbiology

The microbiology of hypersaline environments relevant to Mars and the ocean worlds is the main focus of the Schneegurt Lab. Substantial work was done at the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma to isolate and characterize halotolerant and halophilic microbes growing in high NaCl. This work was extended to salty environments (Hot Lake and Basque Lake) rich in magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts), as this is an important salt on Mars. The astrobiology work impacts the search for life on Mars and forward planetary protection (keeping Mars clean). We measure tolerances to other Mars salts as well, including perchlorate and chlorate salts. Related studies on sugars teach us more about living in very high solutes, and hence, low water activity. We have demonstrated bacterial growth in saturated and eutectic solutions of Mars salts. Dry salts on Mars may absorb humidity from the atmosphere and form dense brines with low freezing points that may remain liquid on Mars.
Beyond our work with NASA, we participate in collaborative projects in medical microbiology. We are working with WSU Chemists on a new class of antibiotics, we call liptins, which bind specifically to bacterial lipids. Liptins seem to be specific, with low toxicity, and are active against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and Mycobacteria. A project with WSU Biomedical Engineers is examining the formation of biofilms on advanced materials that can be used as coatings for bone implants and cardiac stents. An earlier project on feather microbiology led to the discovery of plant pathogens on wild bird feathers, perhaps carrying disease over long distances. Many of the feather isolates exhibit keratinases that degrade the protein keratin. These have great potential for use in dermatology and the hide industry.

Publications

Caton, I. R., T. M. Caton, and M. A. Schneegurt. (2017) Abundance and taxonomy of nifH genes and nitrogen-fixation activity in agricultural, pristine, and urban prairie stream sediments chronically exposed to different levels of nitrogen loading. Archives for Microbiology, doi.org/10.1007/s00203-018-1475-5.
Schneegurt, M. A. (2017) Copyediting and proofreading scientific publications after acceptance. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 120:200-202.
Al Soudi, A. F., O. Farhat, F. Chen, B. C. Clark, and M. A. Schneegurt. (2017) Bacterial growth tolerance to concentrations of chlorate and perchlorate salts relevant to Mars. International Journal of Astrobiology 16:229-235.
Fredsgaard, C., D. B. Moore, F. Chen, B. C. Clark, and M. A. Schneegurt. (2017) Prevalence of sucretolerant bacteria in common soils and their isolation and characterization. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 110:995-1005.
Parker, N., M. A. Schneegurt, A.-H. T. Tu, B. M. Forster, and P. Lister (2017) OpenStax Microbiology. OpenStax College, Rice University, 1308 pp.
Fredsgaard, C., D. B. Moore, A. F. Al Soudi, J. D. Crisler, F. Chen, B. C. Clark, and M. A. Schneegurt (2017) Relationships between sucretolerance and salinotolerance in bacteria from hypersaline environments and their implications for the exploration of Mars and the icy worlds. International Journal of Astrobiology 16:156-162.
Schneegurt, M. A. (2016) Peer review in scientific publication. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 119:360-362.
Harris, D. and M. A. Schneegurt (2016) The other open-access debate. American Scientist 104:334-336; 105:3.
Dille, J. W., C. M. Rogers, and M. A. Schneegurt (2016) Isolation and characterization of bacteria isolated from the feathers of wild Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis). The Auk 133:155-167.
Schneegurt, M. A. (2015) Choosing a scientific journal for your manuscript. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 118:248-250.
Schneegurt, M. A. (2014) Awarding the distinction of authorship on a scientific paper. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 117:270-272.
Kilmer, B. R., T. C. Eberl, B. Cunderla, F. Chen, B. C. Clark, and M. A. Schneegurt (2014) Molecular and phenetic characterization of the bacterial assemblage of Hot Lake, WA, an environment with high concentrations of magnesium sulphate, and its relevance to Mars. International Journal of Astrobiology 13:69-80.
Schneegurt, M. A. (2013) What is publishable data and how will I recognize it? Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 116:136-138.
Evans, S., R. W. Hansen, H. M. Stone, and M. A. Schneegurt (2013) Isolation and characterization of halotolerant soil fungi from the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma (USA). Cryptogamie Mycologie 34:329-341.
Xiao, W., Z.-G. Wang, Y.-X. Wang, M. A. Schneegurt, Z.-Y. Li, Y.-H. Lai, S.-Y. Zhang, M.-L. Wen, and X.-L. Cui (2013) Comparative molecular analysis of the prokaryotic diversity of two salt mine soils in southwest China. Journal of Basic Microbiology 53:1-11.
Schneegurt, M. A. (2013) Colorimetric microbial diversity analysis and halotolerance along a soil salinity gradient at the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma. Research in Microbiology 164:83-89.

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