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.


  • 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, Microbe-mineral interaction, Carbon-dioxide Sequestration
  • Hydrology

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

  • Gabitov, R., Migdisov, A., Nguyen, A., Hartesveldt, N.V., Perez-Huerta, A., Sadekov, A., Sauer, K. B., Baker, J., Paul, V.G., Caporuscio, F., Xu, H., & Roback, R.. Uptake of uranium by carbonate crystallization from reduced and oxidized hydrothermal fluids. Chemical Geology. In press
  • Paul, V., 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., Sankar, M. S., Vattikutti, S., Dash, P., & Arslan, Z. (2020). Pollution Assessment and Land Use Land Cover Influence on Trace Metal Distribution in Sediments from Five Aquatic Systems in Southern USA. Chemosphere, 128243.
  • Sankar, M. S., Dash, P., Lu, Y., Paul, V., Mercer, A. E., Arslan, Z.,…& Rodgers, J. C. (2019). Dissolved organic matter and trace element variability in a blackwater-fed bay following precipitation. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 231, 106452.
  • 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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