Hailiang Dong



Ph.D. 1997 University of Michigan

207 Shideler Hall

The overall objective of my research program is to understand how and why microorganisms and geological media (rocks, minerals, water) interact and how we can study their mutual interactions to understand a range of biogeochemical processes on Earth and beyond... My current research is focused on three broad areas:  1) mineral-microbe interactions; 2) life in various extreme environments (saline lakes on Tibetan Plateau, hot springs, and deep continental subsurface) and implications for life on Mars; 3) environmental bioremediation of heavy metals and radionuclides as well as organics such as TCE and BTEX.  I employ a number of geological, mineralogical, geochemical, and microbiological techniques to study these processes including microscopy, spectroscopy, aqueous geochemistry, molecular microbiology and cultivation, and modeling.  Most of my research projects are funded by NSF, DOE, DOD, ACS-PRF, and other internal (Miami University) and foreign (international) sources.

Possible Thesis/Dissertation Topics

  • Clay mineral-microbe-organic matter interactions
  • Microbial remediation of heavy metals, Cr, U, As and nitrate.
  • Green bioenergy research (microbial conversion of biomass and fossil fuel to methane and ethanol)
  • Biogeochemical cycling of C and N in hot springs.

Current/Recent Graduate Research

  • Zhang, Jing (Ph.D. 2013) Microbe-clay mineral-organic matter-metal interactions.
  • Glasser, Paul (M.S. 2013) Kinetics and mechanisms of Cr6reduction of structural Fe(II) in clay minerals.
  • Huang, Qiuyuan (Ph.D. 2014) Carbon and Nitrogen Biogeochemistry in Terrestrial Hot Springs.
  • Bishop, Mike (Ph.D. 2015) Bioremediation of heavy metals at DOE contaminated sites.
  • Singh, Rajesh (Ph.D. 2015) Bioremediation of heavy metals Cr and Co with methanogens and degradation of organic contaminants with nitrate and metal reducing bacteria.
  • Zhao, Linduo (Ph.D. 2015) Remediation of groundwater nitrate coupled with oxidation of Fe(II) in clay minerals.
  • Zhang, Li (Ph.D 2019) Synthesis of biogenic nanoparticles and their industry applications.
  • Srivastava, Shreya (Ph.D. 2019) Microbial response and feedback to climate change.
  • Kugler, Alex (Ph.D. in progress) The impacts of environmental stresses on the rates of mineral-microbe interaction
  • Zuo, Hongyan (Ph.D. in progress) Microbial processing of organic matter associated with soil minerals

Selected Publications

Magnabosco, C., Lin, L-H., Dong, H., Bomberg, M., Ghiorse, W., Stan-Lotter, H., Pedersen, K., Kieft, T.L., van Heerden, E., and Onstott, T.C. (2018) The Biomass and Biodiversity of the Continental Subsurface. Nature Geoscience,11, 707-717.

Hou, W.*, Wang, S., Briggs, B., Li, G., Xie, W., and Dong, H. (2018) High Diversity of Myocyanophage in Various Aquatic Environments Revealed by High-throughput Sequencing of Major Capsid Protein Gene with a New Set of Primers. Frontiers in Microbiology. 9, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00887.

Zhang, C.L., Lin, J., Li, S., Dong, H.L., Wang, F.P., and Xie, S.C. (2018) Tectonomicrobiology: A new paradigm for geobiological research. Science China – Earth Sciences. 61(4), 494-498.

Srivastava, S.*, Briggs, B.R. and Dong, H. (2018) Abundance and taxonomic affiliation of molybdenum transport and utilization genes in Tengchong Hot Springs, China. Environmental Microbiology, 20(7), 2397-2409.

Zhang, L.*, Dong, H., Liu, Y., Bian, L., Wang, X.*, Zhou, Z.*, and Huang, Y. (2018) Bioleaching of rare earth elements from bastnaesite-bearing rock by actinobacteria. Chemical Geology, 483, 544-557.

Li, G.*, Li, L., Tarozo, R., Longo, W.M., Wang, K.J., Dong, H., and Huang, Y.S. (2018) Microbial production of long-chain n-alkanes: Implication for interpreting sedimentary leaf wax signals. Organic Geochemistry, 115, 24-31.

Huang, L.*, Jiang, H., Dong, H., Feng, C., Wang, X., Zeng, Q., and Zhang, L. (2018) Reduction of structural Fe(III) in nontronite by thermophilic microbial consortia enriched from hot springs in Tengchong, Yunnan Province, China. Chemical Geology, 479, 47-57.

Cheng, Y.*, Zhang, L., Bian, X., Zuo, H., and Dong, H. (2018) Adsorption and Mineralization of REE--Lanthanum onto Bacterial Cell Surface. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25(23), 22334-22339.

Liu, X.*, Dong, H., Yang, X., Kovarik, L., Chen, Y., and Zeng, Q. (2017) Effects of citrate on hexavalent chromium reduction by structural Fe(II) in nontronite. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 343, 245-254.

Bian, L., Nie, J., Dong, H., Zhang, L.M., Li, W.M., Zou, H., Huo, T.T., Dong, F.Q., Song, M.X., He, P., Nie., X.Q., Chen, M.J., Chen, S., Sun, S.H., He, H.C., and Feng, L. (2017) Self-Assembly of Water-Soluble Glutathione Thiol-Capped n-Hematite-p-XZn-Ferrites (X = Mg, Mn, or Ni): Experiment and Theory, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121(43), 24046-24059.

Bian, L., Li, Y., Li, J., Nie, J., Dong F.Q., Song, M.X., Wang, L.S., Dong, H., Li, H.L., Nie, X.Q., Zhang, X.Y., Li, X.X., and Xie, L. (2017) Photovoltage response of (XZn)Fe2O4-BiFeO3 (X = Mg, Mn or Ni) interfaces for highly selective Cr3+, Cd2+, Co2+ and Pb2+ ions detection. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 336, 174-187.

Wu, G., Huang, L., Jiang, H., Peng, Y., Guo, W., Chen, Z., She, W., Guo, Q., and Dong, H. (2017) Thioarsenate formation coupled with anaerobic arsenite oxidation bya sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated from a hot spring. Frontiers in Microbiology.doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01336, Volume 8, Article # 1336.

Wang, X.*, Dong, H., Zeng, Q.Xia, Q., Zhang, L., and Zhou, Z. (2017) Reduced Iron-Containing Clay Minerals as Antibacterial Agents, Environmental Science and Technology, 51(13), 7639-7647.

Singh, R.*, Dong, H., Zeng, Q., and Zhang, L. (2017) Hexavalent chromium removal by chitosan modified-bioreduced nontronite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 210, 25-41.

Hao, C., Wei, P., Pei, L., Du, Z., Zhang, Y., Lu, Y. and Dong, H. (2017) Significant seasonal variations of microbial community in an acid mine drainage lake in Anhui Province, China. Environmental Pollution, 223, 507-516.

Zeng, Q.*, Dong, H., Wang, X., Yu, T., and Cui, W. (2017) Degradation of 1,4-dioxane by hydroxyl radicals produced from clay minerals. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 331, 88-98.

He, H., Ji, S., Tao, q., Zhu, J., Chen, T., Liang, X., Li, Z., and Dong, H. (2017) Transformation of halloysite and kaolinite into beidellite under hydrothermal condition. American Mineralogist, 102, 997-1005.

Zhao, L.*, Dong, H., Edelmann, R.E., Zeng, Q., and Agrawal, A. (2017) Coupling of Fe(II) oxidation in illite with nitrate reduction and its role in clay mineral transformation. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 200, 353-366.

Bian, L., Li, H., Dong, H., Dong, F., Song, M., Wang, L., Zhou, T., Li, W., Hou, W., Zhang, X., Lu, X., Li, X., and Xie, L. (2017) Fluorescent enhancement of bio-synthesized X-Zn-ferrite-bismuth ferrite (X = Mg, Mn or Ni) membranes: Experiment and theory. Applied Surface Science, 396, 1177-1186.

Bian, L., Li., H.L., Li, Y.J., Nie, J.N., Dong, F.Q., Dong, H., Song, M.X., Wang, L.S., Zhou, T.L., Zhang, X.Y., Li, X.X., and Xie, L. (2017) Enhanced Photovoltage Response of Hematite-X-Ferrite Interfaces (X = Cr, Mn, Co, or Ni). Nanoscale Research Letters. 12:136, DOI 10.1186/s11671-017-1885-3.

Selected Grants

Complete Reductive Defluorination of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) by Hydrated Electrons Generated from 3-Indole-acetic-acid in Chitosan-Modified Montmorillonite, Department of Defense, SERDP, $199,980, 3/1/2018 -2/28/2019.

Collaborative Research: The role of phyllosilicate minerals in mediating the temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter decomposition, National Science Foundation, EAR-1656988, $124,237, 9/1/2017-8/31/2019.

The role of phyllosilicate minerals in mediating the temperature sensitivity of enzymatic activity in soil organic matter transformations, Environmental

Molecular Science Laboratory – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory user proposal, co-PI, $91,629, 11/2017 to 10/2019.

Teaching Interests

GLG 121 - Environmental Geology

GLG 211 - Chemistry of Earth Systems

GLG 402/502 - Geomicrobiology

GLG 496/596 - Isotopes in Environmental Processes

GLG 602 - Microbes and Geology

For a complete description of courses please see the 2019/2020 Miami Bulletin.