Biological Sciences

Peter P. Sheridan, Ph.D.

Peter P. Sheridan

Professor of Microbiology

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My research interests fall into the following categories: Microbial Molecular Biology, Microbial Diversity and Evolution of Prokaryotes, Molecular Biology of Adaptation to Extreme Environments, Biogeochemistry of Novel Prokaryotic Isolates, Evolution of Protein Structure and Function, Detection of Microorganisms in the Environment, Emerging Infectious Diseases.

My teaching areas are General Microbiology, Introductory Microbiology, Microbial Diversity, Molecular Biology Laboratory Techniques, Environmental Biotechnology.


Biographical Sketch

Dr. Sheridan has been in the Department of Biological Sciences at Idaho State University since August of 2001, first as an Assistant Professor (2001-Spring 2006) and then as a tenured Associate Professor (2006-present). He received his undergraduate training at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and double majored in Biochemistry and Microbiology, since he couldn't bear to only major in either one. For a change of pace from the academic life after graduation, he then enlisted in the Army and served 4 years in the Infantry. Following his Honorable Discharge, he resumed his academic career at Rutgers University and received an M.S. degree in Microbiology. It was at this point that his interests in the biochemistry of psychrophilic ("cold-loving") microorganisms led him to the laboratory of Dr. J. Robie Vestal and the University of Cincinnati to pursue a Ph.D. studying cold active RuBisCO enzymes from Antarctic cyanobacteria, during which time he deployed to the field in Antarctica for two seasons. Dr. Sheridan was fortunate to continue his training as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Jean Brenchley at Penn State, where he continued his work on cold-active enzymes and the phylogenetic diversity of microorganisms from low temperature environments. His interactions with Dr. Brenchley and her other postdoctoral scientists and the graduate students at Penn State were so productive and enjoyable that Dr. Sheridan stayed at Penn State for 5 years! He then decided to pursue an academic position where he could continue his work on the biochemistry and phylogenetic diversity of psychrophiles while branching out into other research areas of interest. Idaho State University is the perfect venue to pursue these interests and also affords Dr. Sheridan the opportunity to pass on to the next generations of Microbiology and Biochemistry students his love of these areas. In addition to his work on the biochemistry of cold-active enzymes and the phylogenetic diversity of low temperature environments, Dr. Sheridan has students working in the areas of the detection of microorganisms in the environment, a number of Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the bioremediation of contaminated environments at low temperatures.



(Indicates *undergraduate or **graduate student coauthors)

Tyler, T.L.**, P.P. Sheridan, M.E. Watwood, Y. Fujita, and F.S. Colwell. 2006. Design and validation of polymerase chain reaction primers based on ureC for environmental detection of urea hydrolyzing bacteria. Environmental Microbiology. (in review)

Germino, M.J., N.J. Hasselquist**, T. McGonigle, W.K. Smith, and P.P. Sheridan. 2006. Colonization of conifer seedling roots by fungal mycelium in an alpine-treeline ecotone: Relationships to microsite, developmental stage, and ecophysiology of seedlings. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 36:901-909.

Horton, R.N.**, W.A. Apel, V.S. Thompson, and P.P. Sheridan. 2006. Low Temperature Reduction of Chromium (VI) by a Microbial Enrichment Consortium and a novel strain of Arthrobacter aurescens. BMC Microbiology. 6(1):5.

Simmon, K.E**., D.D. Steadman**, S. Durkin**, A. Baldwin**, W.H. Jeffrey, P. Sheridan, R. Horton**, and M.S. Shields. 2004. Autoclave method for rapid preparation of bacterial PCR-template DNA. Journal of Microbiological Methods. 56:143- 149.

Miteva, V. I., P.P. Sheridan, and J. E. Brenchley. 2004. Phylogenetic and Physiological Diversity of Microorganisms Isolated from a Deep Greenland Glacier Ice Core. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 70:202-213.

Coker, J.A.**, P.P. Sheridan, J. Loveland-Curtze, K.R. Gutshall, A.J. Auman*, and J.E. Brenchley. 2003. Biochemical Characterization of a b-galactosidase with a Low Temperature Optimum Obtained from an Antarctic Arthrobacter Isolate. Journal of Bacteriology. 185:5473-5482.

Sheridan, P.P., J. Loveland-Curtze, V.I. Miteva, and J.E. Brenchley. 2003. Isolation and Characterization of Rhodoglobus vestali gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel psychrophilic organism isolated from an Antarctic Dry Valley Lake. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 53:985-994.

Sheridan, P.P., V.I. Miteva, and J.E. Brenchley. 2003. Phylogenetic Analysis of Anaerobic Psychrophilic Enrichment Cultures Obtained from a Greenland Glacier Ice Core. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 69:2153-2160.

Sheridan, P.P., K.H. Freeman, and J.E. Brenchley. 2003. Estimated Minimal Divergence Times of the Major Bacterial and Archaeal Phyla. Geomicrobiology Journal. 20:1-14.

Reed, D.W., Y. Fujita, M.E. Delwiche, D.B. Blackwelder, P.P. Sheridan, T. Uchida, and F.S. Colwell. 2002. Microbial Communities from Methane Hydrate-Bearing Deep Marine Sediments in a Forearc Basin. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 68:3759-3770.

Sheridan, P.P., N. Panasik**, J.M. Coombs**, and J.E. Brenchley. 2000. Approaches for Deciphering the Structural Basis of Low Temperature Enzyme Activity. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 1543:413-429.

Sheridan, P.P. and J.E. Brenchley. 2000. Characterization of a Salt Tolerant Family 42 -Galactosidase from a Psychrophilic Antarctic Planococcus Isolate. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 66:2438-2444.

Loveland-Curtze, J., P.P. Sheridan, K.R. Gutshall, and J.E. Brenchley. 1999. Biochemical and phylogenetic analyses of psychrophilic isolates belonging to the Arthrobacter subgroup and description of Arthrobacter psychrolactophilus, sp. nov. Archives of Microbiology. 171:355-363.

Sarbu*, S., L. Vlasceanu*, R. Popa, P. Sheridan*, B.K. Kinkle, and T.C. Kane. 1994. Microbial mats in a thermomineral sulfurous cave. Proc. of the NATO ARW: Structure, development, and environmental significance of microbial mats.


921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209