Rebecca V. Ferrell, Ph.D.

Metropolitan State Univ. of Denver, Denver, CO

Candidate for the Council on Microbial Sciences
Professor of Biology, Campus Box 52, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Denver, CO 80217-3362
  • PhD (1990) University of Missouri—Columbia, School of Medicine, Dept. of Medical Microbiology & Immunology (lab of Dr. Mark McIntosh)
  • M.S. (1981) Missouri State University, Springfield, MO; Immunology (lab of Dr. Richard Myers)
  • B.S. (1978) Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, Biology major, English minor
Professional Experience:
  • Post-doc (1990-91), University of Colorado, Dept. of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology (lab of Dr. Larry Gold)
  • Assistant Professor (1991-1996), Dept. of Biology, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Associate Professor (1996-2000), Dept. of Biology, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Professor (2000-present), Dept. of Biology, Metropolitan State University of Denver
ASM Activities:
  • Active in the Rocky Mtn. Branch (RMB-ASM) and currently serving as Archivist; have served in every elected office of the RMB through the years, including 3 terms as President.
  • Served on the Council Policy Committee of ASM, participated some in the Futures discussions, and have served on COMS since its inception.
  • Reviewer through several cycles (including currently) for ASM’s Conference Grant program.
  1. Sedlecek, C. J., Giguere, A. T., Dobie, M. D., Mellbye, B. L., Ferrell, R. V., Woebken, D., Sayavedra-Soto, L. A., Bottomley, P. J., Daims, H., Wagner, M., Pjevac, P. (submitted) Transcriptomic response of Nitrosomonas europaea transitioned from ammonia- to oxygen-limited steady-state growth. mSystems.
  2. Ferrell, R. V. (2018). Chapter 33 : Esther Miriam Zimmer Lederberg: Pioneer in Microbial Genetics. In Rachel J. Whitaker and Hazel A. Barton (Ed.),. Washington, DC: ASM Press.
  3. Perez, J., Buchanan, A., Mellbye, B., Ferrell, R. V., Chang, J., Chaplen, F., Bottomley, P., Arp, D., Sayavedra-Soto, L. (2015). Interactions of Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrobacter winogradskyi grown in co-culture. Arch. Microbiol., 197(1), 19-89.
  4. Sayavedra-Soto, L., Ferrell, R. V., Dobie, M., Mellbye, B., Chaplen, F., Buchanan, A., Chang, J., Bottomley, P., Arp, D. (2015). Nitrobacter winogradskyi transcriptomic response to low and high ammonia concentrations. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 362(3), 1-7.
Research Interests:
Nitrification and its regulation; environmental water quality; limitations of Escherichia coli as an indicator organism; seasonal occurrence of E. coli in Canada geese; nitrogen cycling in green roof soils.

I was a member of the ASM Council Policy Committee (serving as an at-large representative of Branches), and participated in some of the Futures discussions during the governance transition, and was then elected to COMS at large to represent Branches.
It has been fascinating being involved in this governance transition, and I think I have a clear understanding now of the goals of the reorganization as well as the directions that the Society is heading. My scientific division within COMS, Applied & Environmental Microbiology, is planning its first retreat to develop priorities and goals, and I am one of the three COMS members helping to organize that retreat.
I believe that I have developed valuable insights into the work of ASM during my long association with the organization, going back to the 1980s when I joined as a graduate student. As a teaching professor with a program of undergraduate research, I depend more than ever on ASM to provide professional opportunities for my students and myself. I am a long-time member of the Rocky Mountain Branch, where I have served in every elected office, including 3 terms as President. I think that I understand the needs of many of our members, who are usually busy professionals who count on ASM to keep them up to date and engaged with microbiology in ways that fit into their lives.
ASM is now uniquely poised to build for the future, while responding to the microbiological challenges of the present. Some examples would include thinking about our publishing models for scientific research, balancing quick access with high quality review within the funding limitations imposed by rising costs, working on our meeting programming to continue to expand offerings across the breadth of microbiology, providing grants to support novel and innovative scientific meetings, creating additional effective methods of outreach to scientists in developing countries, and anticipating and interpreting developments in the future of microbiology.
I’m very interested in finding ways to broaden the participation of our diverse members, especially those from lower-tier schools, clinical labs, environmental engineering firms and other industries and government agencies, who often struggle with resources, time and opportunities for professional development. I would like to serve one more term on COMS so that I can help bring some of these early efforts to fruition and continue to contribute to moving our Society in positive directions that provide needed benefits to our members. We will need to think collaboratively and creatively as ASM strives to meet the needs of scientists and citizens in all aspects of understanding the microbial world.

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