Michael F. Cohen

Professor of Biology
Ph.D. University of California (Davis), 1996
Voicemail: (707) 664-3413;
Email: cohenm@sonoma.edu
Office: Darwin 222

Postdoctoral Experience:

Veterans Administration Hospital (Sepulveda, CA), University of Ryukyus (Okinawa, Japan), USDA-Agricultural Research Service (Wenatchee, WA).

Research Interests:

Environmental Microbiology, Plant-Microbe Interactions, Sudden Oak Death, Nitric Oxide Biology; Bioremediation; Anaerobic Digestion; The Azolla Holobiont.

Research Program:

In my laboratory we study a diverse array of environmental microbes. A collaboration with colleagues in the Department of Biology examines the impact of leaf-dwelling microorganisms on the severity and spread of Sudden Oak Death disease caused by Phytophthora ramorum. Research carried out in conjunction with scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Infrared Structural Biology Program investigates the cellulose-degrading capacity of alkaline tolerant bacteria as well as the process of rapid root abscission in the floating water fern Azolla. Another major research effort of my lab is the development of affordable systems for concomitant bioremediation and bioenergy production. A multi-year project with the City of Santa Rosa tested the capacity of channelized scrubbers to remove residual nutrients and other pollutants from treated municipal wastewater and optimized anaerobic digestion of the harvested wetland biomass, mixed with agricultural by-products from local dairies and wineries, to produce methane gas.

Recent Publications:

A full list of publications with links to pdfs can be found at the Bashan Foundation website.

Cohen MF, Hare C, Kozlowski J, McCormick RS, Chen L, Schneider L, Parish M, Knight Z, Nelson TA, Grewell B (2013) Wastewater polishing by a channelized macrophyte-dominated wetland and anaerobic digestion of the harvested phytomass. J Environ Sci Health 48(3):319-330.

Gurung S, Cohen MF, Fukuto J, Yamasaki H (2012) Polyamine-induced rapid root abscission in Azolla pinnata. J Amino Acids 2012:Article ID 493209, 9 p.

Figueiredo J, Baird A, Cohen MF, Flot J-F, Kamiki T, Meziane T, Tsuchiya M, Yamasaki H (2012) Ontogenetic change in the lipid and fatty acid composition of coral larvae. Coral Reefs 31(2): 613-619.

Yamasaki H, Itoh RD, Bouchard JN, Dghim AA, Cohen MF (2011) Nitric oxide synthase-like activities in plants. Annu Plant Rev 42:103-125.

Hossain KK, Itoh RD, Yoshimura G, Tokuda G, Oku H, Cohen MF, Yamasaki H (2010) Effects of nitric oxide scavengers on thermoinhibition of seed germination in Arabidopsis thaliana. Russ J Plant Physiol 57(2):222-232.

Cohen MF, Lamattina L, Yamasaki H (2010) Nitric oxide signaling by plant-associated bacteria. In: Nitric oxide in plant physiology. S Hayat, M Mori, J Pichtel, A Ahmad, Eds. Wiley-Vch, Germany. p. 161-172.

Mazzola M, de Bruijn I, Cohen MF, Raaijmakers JM (2009) Protozoa-induced regulation of cyclic lipopeptide biosynthesis is an effective predation defense mechanism in Pseudomonas fluorescens. Appl Environ Microbiol. 75(21):6804-6811.

Course Offerings:

Molecular and Cell Biology; General Bacteriology; Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology; Microbiomes.