People » Melanie Beazley

Research Interests:

  • Bioremediation – combining geochemical, biological, hydrogeological, and engineering solutions to soil, sediments, groundwater, and surface water remediation
  • Aqueous biogeochemistry (freshwater and marine)
  • Fate and transport of metals and organic/inorganic chemical species in aqueous and sediment environments
  • Microbial ecology of aqueous and sediment environments

Dr. Beazley’s research interests center on the fate and transport of contaminants in our environment. She studies both terrestrial and marine systems in order to understand how contaminants affect not only the biogeochemistry of an ecosystem but also the microbial ecology. Contaminants that are studied include heavy metals/radionuclides, hydrocarbons, dispersants, fertilizers/pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and excess nutrients. She is specifically interested in using the metabolic activities of microorganisms to aid in the remediation of containments in situ. Current and future research activities include the study of phosphorus cycling in surface waters and agricultural systems, the impacts of pharmaceuticals and other emerging contaminants on Florida coastal and freshwater ecosystems, the effects of stormwater runoff into natural waterways, and using microbial source tracking to determine contaminant sources to local waters. Previous marine research has included the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the coastal marshes and carbon cycling in the deep Gulf of Mexico. Analytical techniques/instrumentation used include basic microbiological techniques (i.e., isolation, cultures, PCR, qPCR, Sanger sequencing, high throughput sequencing), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for measuring metal concentration, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for analyzing the concentration of inorganic/organic chemical species, and ion chromatography (IC) for measuring cation/anion concentrations. Previous research has included the use of synchrotron x-ray absorption spectroscopy and synchrotron x-ray diffraction to determine the chemical speciation of heavy metal/radionuclide in contaminated environments.

  1. Salome KR, MJ Beazley, SM Webb, PA Sobecky, and M Taillefert (2017) Biomineralization of U(VI) phosphate promoted by microbially-mediated phytate hydrolysis in contaminated soils. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 197 27-42
  2. Martinez RJ, MJ Beazley, and PA Sobecky (2014) Phosphate-mediated remediation of metals and radionuclides. Advances in Ecology Volume 2014, Article ID 786929
  3. Martinez RJ, C Wu, MJ Beazley, GL Andersen, ME Conrad, TC Hazen, M Taillefert, and PA Sobecky (2014) Microbial community responses to organophosphate substrate additions in contaminated subsurface soils. PLoS ONE 9 (6): e100383
  4. Salome KR, SJ Green, MJ Beazley, SM Webb, JE Kostka, and M Taillefert (2013) The role of anaerobic respiration in the immobilization of uranium through biomineralization of phosphate minerals. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 106 344-363
  5. Mortazavi B, A Horel, MJ Beazley, and PA Sobecky (2013) Intrinsic rates of petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation in Gulf of Mexico intertidal sandy sediments and its enhancement by organic substrates. Journal of Hazardous Materials 244-245 537-544
  6. Mortazavi B, A Horel, JS Anders, A Mirjafari, MJ Beazley, and PA Sobecky (2013) Enhancing the biodegradation of oil in sandy sediments with choline: A naturally methylated nitrogen compound. Environmental Pollution 182 53-62
  7. Beazley MJ, RJ Martinez, S Rajan, J Powell, YM Piceno, LM Tom, GL Andersen, TC Hazen, JD Van Nostrand, J Zhou, B Mortazavi, and PA Sobecky (2012) Microbial community analysis of a coastal salt marsh affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. PLoS ONE 7(7): e41305
  8. Madden AS, AL Swindle, MJ Beazley, JW Moon, B Ravel, and TJ Phelps (2012) Long-term solid-phase fate of co-precipitated U(VI)-Fe(III) following biological iron reduction by Thermoanaerobacter. American Mineralogist 97 1641-1652
  9. Beazley MJ, SM Webb, RJ Martinez, PA Sobecky, and M Taillefert (2011) The effect of pH and natural microbial phosphatase activity on the speciation of uranium in subsurface soils. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75 (19) 5648-5663
  10. Beazley MJ, RJ Martinez, PA Sobecky, SM Webb, and M Taillefert (2009) Nonreductive biomineralization of uranium(VI) phosphate via microbial phosphatase activity in anaerobic conditions. Geomicrobiology Journal 26, 431-441
  11. Beazley MJ, RJ Martinez, SM Webb, PA Sobecky, and M Taillefert (2007) Uranium biomineralization as a result of bacterial phosphatase activity: Insights from bacterial isolates from a contaminated subsurface. Environmental Science & Technology 41, 5701-5707
  12. Martinez RJ, MJ Beazley, M Taillefert, AK Arakaki, J Skolnick, and PA Sobecky (2007) Aerobic uranium(VI) bioprecipitation by metal-resistant bacteria isolated from radionuclide- and metal-contaminated subsurface soils. Environmental Microbiology 9 (12) 3122-3133
  13. Morse JW and MJ Beazley (2008) Organic matter in deep water sediments of the Northern Gulf of Mexico and its relationship to the distribution of benthic organisms. Deep Sea Research II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 55 (24-26) 2563-2571
  14. Beazley MJ, RD Rickman, DK Ingram, TW Boutton, and J Russ (2002) Natural abundances of carbon isotopes (14C, 13C) in lichens and calcium oxalate pruina: Implications for archaeological and paleoenvironmental studies. Radiocarbon 44 (3), 675-683

A Summer of STEM

This summer, UCF hosted its STEM Summer Institute (SI) camps for Central Florida middle and high school students. The STEM Summer Institute (SI) offers a mix of activities designed to maximize learning through... Read more

COS Welcomes 50 New Faculty

The College of Sciences at the University of Central Florida welcomes 50 new faculty members this fall.  In conjunction with the new faculty hiring campaign, approximatley 200 new faculty will begin at the... Read more

Click here to read additional news stories