MEB Faculty

Katrina Edwards

Professor of Biological Sciences and Earth Sciences

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 821-4390
Office: AHF 107

Curriculum Vitae
Faculty Profile on Departmental Website
Personal Website
Course Information
Edwards Lab
USC Geobiology
Deep Biosphere RCN

Biographical Sketch

Katrina Edwards is a professor of biological sciences and Earth sciences in USC College. She is also the director of the National Science Foundation supported Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations in Los Angeles. Team members along with several other major research institutions are drilling holes in the ocean floor in three locations under the Atlantic ocean--the North Pond, Juan de Fuca and South Pacific Gyre--in order to study how life thrives in sediments and rock below the bottom of the ocean. Her research interests include geomicrobiology and microbial life at or below the sea floor, and the interaction of microbes and rock. The cornerstone of Professor Edwards' lab research is in the development of a mechanistic understanding of the microbial processes and controls on rock, mineral and organic matter transformations, and the establishment of means to delineate their influences.


  • B.S. Geology, The Ohio State University, 1994
  • M.S. Geochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1996
  • Ph.D. Geomicrobiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999

  • Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    • Professor, University of Southern California, 2009-  
    • Associate Professor, University of Southern California, 2006-2009  
    • Associate Scientist, WHOI, 2003-2006  
    • Assistant Scientist, WHOI, 1999-2003  

    Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Deep ocean and subseafloor geomicrobiology
    Research Keywords
    Iron oxidation, subsurface biosphere, rock alteration, hydrothermal systems, chemoautotrophy, biofilms, endolithic
    Research Specialties
    microbiology, mineralogy, bioinorganic chemistry

    Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

    • Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI), Director,
    • Center for Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis (CEMMA), co-Director,
    • Dark Energy Biosphere Institute (DEBI) Research Coordination Network (RCN), co-Director,
    • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Advanced Light Source User,


    Journal Article
    • Edwards, K. J., Orcutt, B. N., Wheat, C. G. (2010). Subseafloor ocean crust microbial observatories: Development of FLOCS (FLow-through Osmo Colonization System) and evaluation of borehole construction materials. Geomicrobiology Journal. Vol. 27, pp. 143–157. 10.1080/01490450903456772
    • Cara, S. M., Banerjee, N., Wolfgang, B., Edwards, K. J. (2010). Tapping the subsurface ocean crust biosphere: low biomass and drilling-related contamination calls for improved quality controls and novel approaches for the future of subseafloor research. Geomicrobiology Journal. Vol. 27, pp. 158–169. DOI: 10.1080/01490450903456780
    • Schrenk, M. O., Huber, J. A., Edwards, K. J. (2010). Microbial Provinces in the Subseafloor. Annual Reviews of Marine Science.
    • Hayman, N. W., Bach, W., Blackman, D., Christeson, D., Edwards, K. J., Haymon, R., Ildefonse, B., Schulte, M., Teagel, D., White, S. (2010). Future Scientific Drilling of Oceanic Crust. EOS Transactions. Vol. 91, pp. 133-140.
    • Toner, B. M., Fakra, S. C., Manganini, S. J., Santelli, C. M., Marcus, M. A., Moffett, J. W., Rouxel, O., Christopher, G. R., Edwards, K. J. (2009). Preservation of iron(II) by carbon-rich matrices in a hydrothermal plume. Nature Geosciences. Vol. 2, pp. 197 - 201.
    • Santelli, C. M., Orcutt, B. N., Banning, E., Bach, W., Moyer, C. L., Staudigel, H., Edwards, K. J. (2008). Abundance and diversity of microbial life in the ocean crust. Nature. Vol. 453, pp. 653-657.

    Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

    • Blog, Edwards, K.J. 2009. 60 Seconds in North Pond. Scientific American,, 2008-2009   
    • Popular Science Essay, Edwards, K.J. 2009. Hunting for Life in Rocks Beneath the Seas. Behind the Scenes Science LiveScience,, 2008-2009   
    • Blog, Edwards, K.J. 2009. The North Pond Expedition Blog. USC website,, 2008-2009   

    Service to the Profession

    Editorships and Editorial Boards
    • Editorial Board, Environmental Microbiology, 2008-  
    • Editorial Board, Geobiology Journal, 2007-  
    • Associate Editor, Geomicrobiology Journal, 2005-  

    Professional Memberships
    • International Society for Microbial Ecology, 2006-  
    • American Mineralogist, 1998-  
    • American Society for Microbiology, 1998-  
    • American Geophysical Union, 1997-  

  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • University of Southern California
  • Allan Hancock Foundation Building
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371