Here’s how to contact me:
Peter P. Sheridan
Department of Biological Sciences
Campus Box 8007
Idaho State University
Pocatello, Idaho 83209
Phone (office): (208) 282-5368
Phone (lab): (208)
It is generally accepted that we are currently able
to culture only about 0.1-0.001% of the microorganisms in environmental
samples. The overwhelming diversity of microbes in an environment
cannot be grown in the lab! I am interested in detecting and identifying
the microorganisms present in the environment, determining what they are
doing and how to grow them in the lab, and studying their enzymes (sequence,
structure, function, etc.). Low temperature/permanently cold environments
are one of my main areas of interest, although I am interested in extreme
environments in general (the weirder the sample, the better). Generally
speaking, my research interests could be classified as: Microbial Molecular
Biology, Microbial Diversity and Evolution of Prokaryotes, the Molecular
Biology of Adaptation to Extreme Environments, the Biogeochemistry of Novel
Prokaryotic Isolates, and the Evolution of Protein Structure and Function.
In order to conduct research in my lab, students make use of a wide variety
of skills in the fields of Microbiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology,
and Bioinformatics (among others).
I am always interested in talking to potential students
(graduate and undergraduate), so if you think that you would like to do
research or collaborate projects involving any of the topics listed above
(or in other areas of the amazing world of Microbiology), contact me!!
Here’s a link to my current CV.
A little more about me…
2001-present Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Department
Sciences, Idaho State University.
1999-2001 Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Jean Brenchley,
State University Biogeochemical Research Initiative for
1998-2001 Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Jean Brenchley,
State University Astrobiology Research Center.
1996-1998 National Science Foundation/Alfred P. Sloan
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Molecular Evolution
Professor Jean Brenchley, Pennsylvania State University.
1996-2001 Pennsylvania State University. Postdoctoral
Fellow, Dept of
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
University of Cincinnati. Biology.
Rutgers University. Microbiology.
Rutgers College. Biochemistry and Microbiology, Double Major.
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
ß-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
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.
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 ß-Galactosidase from a Psychrophilic Antarctic
Planococcus Isolate. Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
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.
A lot of the samples I study come from permanently cold environments (see
the list of publications). I was extremely fortunate as a graduate
student to work in the lab of J. Robie Vestal, at the University of Cincinnati.
Robie took me to Antarctica, where we collected a lot of samples.
I am still working with some of these samples to this day! There are
a couple of Antarctic pictures below.
A picture of me at Bratina Island, Antarctica...
...and with a new friend....
This is the kind of sample we were after….
The view from up on Linnaeus Terrace….
It’s a harsh continent…..