Professional photo of Varun Paul, wearing a black suit and red tie against a blue background.
Varun Paul: Assistant Professor, Geology

Varun Paul

Assistant Professor, Geology

Hilbun Hall 100B
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Dr. Varun Paul is an Assistant Professor, specializing in the inter-disciplinary field of environmental biogeochemistry. He obtained his PhD in Geological Sciences from Missouri University of Science and Technology in 2014.
Dr. Paul’s research investigations generally employ a joint field- and laboratory- based methodology to tackle basic scientific questions, and use the collected information to address broad environmental concerns. Simple and advanced geochemical analytical tools (pH, alkalinity, ICP-OES, SEM, etc.) are frequently utilized in his research, along with microbial sequencing. Examples of projects in his lab include water and sediment quality assessment, soil chemistry under changing climate, soil health, engineering properties of clay, and exploring microbe-mineral interaction in hypersaline microbial mats.


  • Ph.D., Missouri University of Science & Technology, Department of Geological Sciences, 2009-2014. Dissertation: Biomineralization of Carbonates and Its Application in CO2 Sequestration.
  • M.S., Missouri University of Science & Technology, Department of Biological Sciences, 2007-2009. Thesis: Microbial Fuel Cells and Ethanol Production using Haloalkaliphilic Bacteria.
  • B.S., St. Peter’s Engineering College (Anna University), India, Department of Biotechnology, 2003-2007.


  • Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Missouri S&T
  • Field Inspector, Engineering Consulting Services, LLC, Virginia
  • Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Geological Sciences and Biological Sciences, Missouri S&T
  • Intern, NASA Planetary Biology Internship, Space Life Science Lab, Kennedy Space Center, FL
  • Intern, Central Institute of Brackish water Aquaculture (CIBA), Chennai, India
  • Intern, Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai, India

Research Interests

  • Environmental Biogeochemistry
  • Soil science and engineering
  • Hydrology
  • Microbe-mineral interaction

Teaching Areas

  • GG 4613/6613 Physical Hydrogeology
  • GG 4623/6623 Chemical Hydrogeology
  • GG 4153/6153 Engineering Geology
  • GG 3613 Water Resources
  • GG 8633 Water Biogeochemistry

Honors/Professional Activities

  • Vernier Software and Technology, 40th Anniversary Grant
  • Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG), Secretary, Lower Mississippi Valley Chapter
  • MDPI Water: Topical Advisory Committee
  • NASA FINESST and Exobiology Review Panel
  • Member of Geological Society of America (GSA), Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program, Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI)

Recent Publications

  • Chang, T., Feng, G., Paul, V.G., Adeli, A. & Brooks, J.P. (2022). Soil Health Assessment Methods: Progress, Applications and Comparison, Advances in Agronomy, 172, 129-210.
  • Nguyen, A, Gabitov, R., Jimenez, A., Dygert, A., Varco, J., Pérez-Huerta, A., Migdisov, A., Paul, V.G., Kirkland, B. and Dash, P. (2021). Retaining Geochemical Signatures during Aragonite-Calcite Transformation at Hydrothermal Conditions. Minerals, 11(10), 1052.
  • Delia, K. A., Haney, C. R., Dyer, J. L., & Paul, V. G. (2021). Spatial Analysis of a Chesapeake Bay Sub-Watershed: How Land Use and Precipitation Patterns Impact Water Quality in the James River. Water, 13(11), 1592.
  • Paul, V.G., Sankar, M. S., Vattikutti, S., Dash, P., & Arslan, Z. (2021). Pollution Assessment and Land Use Land Cover Influence on Trace Metal Distribution in Sediments from Five Aquatic Systems in Southern USA. Chemosphere, 128243.
  • Wickramarathna S.**, Chandrajith R., Senaratne A., Paul V.G., Dash P., Wickramashinghe S., Li X., Briggs, P. (2021). Bacterial influence in the formation of Hematite: Implications for Martian Dormant Life.  International Journal of Astrobiology (IF 2.026) 1-15.
  • Paul, V.G., Banerjee, Y., Ghosh, P., & Busi, S. B. (2020). Depthwise microbiome and isotopic profiling of a moderately saline microbial mat in a solar saltern. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-16.
  • Paul, V.G., & Mormile, M.R. (2020). Potential Energy Production and Utilization Pathways of the Martian Subsurface: Clues from Extremophilic Microorganisms on Earth. In. (Eds. J. Seckbach, and H. Stan-Lotter), Extremophiles as Astrobiological Models, 291-315
  • Paul, V.G., & Mormile, M.R. (2017). A case for the preservation of saline and hypersaline environments: a microbiological perspective, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 93

Varun Paul's C.V.

A copy of Varun Paul's C.V. is available to download.

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