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.) in combination with microbiology techniques (culturing, bioreactors, sequencing, etc.) are frequently utilized in his research. Examples of projects in his realm include exploring microbe-mineral interaction in hypersaline lakes, microbialite formation, biogeochemical response to environmental stresses, carbon dioxide sequestration, and water quality assessment.

Education

  • 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.

Experience

  • 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, Microbe-mineral interaction, Carbon-dioxide Sequestration

Teaching Areas

  • GG 4613/6613 Physical Hydrogeology
  • GG 4623/6623 Chemical Hydrogeology
  • GG 4153/6153 Engineering Geology

Honors/Professional Activities

  • 2013 Geology and Geophysics, Jeffrey Spooner Outstanding Graduate Scholar, Missouri S&T        
  • Member of Geological Society of America (GSA)
  • Member of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Recent Publications

  • Paul, V.G., Wronkiewicz, D.J. and Mormile, M.R. IMPACT OF ELEVATED CO2 CONCENTRATIONS ON THE CARBONATE PRECIPITATION ABILITY OF SULFATE-REDUCING BACTERIA AND ITS IMPLICATION FOR CO2 SEQUESTRATION. (Under review, Applied Geochemistry)

  • Paul, V.G., Wronkiewicz, D.J., Mormile, M.R., Foster, J.S., 2016, CHARACTERIZATION OF WATER, MICROBIAL MATS AND MICROBIALITES IN THE HYPERSALINE ENVIRONMENT OF STORR’S LAKE, THE BAHAMAS, Astrobiology 16 (4), 282-300

  • Paul, V.G., Wronkiewicz, D.J. and Mormile, M.R., 2016, CHARACTERIZATION OF MICROBIALITES AND THE ECOSYSTEM OF STORR’S LAKE, SAN SALVADOR ISLAND, in Glumac, B., and Savarese, M., eds., Proceedings of the 16th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and other Carbonate Regions, Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas, p. 95-110. 

  • Paul, V.G., Mormile, M.R., Minteer, S.D. and Treu, B.L., 2014, ABILITY OF A HALOALKALIPHILIC BACTERIUM ISOLATED FROM SOAP LAKE, WASHINGTON TO GENERATE ELECTRICITY AT PH 11.0 AND 7% SALINITY, Environmental Technology  35(8), 1003-1011.

  • Wronkiewicz, D., Paul, V., Abousif, A., and  Ryback, K., 2013, GEOSCIENCE PERSPECTIVES IN CARBON SEQUESTRATION-EDUCATIONAL TRAINING AND RESEARCH THROUGH CLASSROOM, FIELD, AND LABORATORY INVESTIGATIONS. University Of Missouri System. DOI: 10.2172/1162097

  • Begemann, M.B., Mormile, M.R., Paul, V.G., and Vidt, D.J. Book chapter: POTENTIAL ENHANCEMENT OF BIOFUEL PRODUCTION THROUGH ENZYMATIC BIOMASS DEGRADATION ACTIVITY AND BIODIESEL PRODUCTION BY HALOPHILIC MICROORGANISMS. Halophiles and Hypersaline Environments: Current Research and Future Trends, Springer; 1st Edition, 2011

Varun Paul's C.V.

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

Download Copy