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Research Interests

With a Ph.D. in Microbiology, my graduate training focused on the field of biogeochemistry, studying microbes in different environments. Over the years I have been most interested in the prokaryotic biology of soils in either wetlands or temperate forests. I have directed one long-term study (10 years) of carbon and sulfur cycling in soils of Missouri Ozark forests subjected to timber cutting. Another human disturbance I have studied in detail is the impact of sulfur pollution (via acid precipitation, or due to acidic mine drainage) of freshwater wetlands, and the role that sulfate reducing bacteria in those wetlands might play in maintaining the pH balance of local streams. I also have experience studying marine wetlands relative to microbial manganese oxidation. Several students of mine and I have conducted research on the use of bacterial batteries in the degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and organic matter associated with raw sewage. Through collaborations with colleagues in UTC’s Physical Therapy department we have recently completed a study of potential bacterial contamination of local outpatient physical therapy clinics. We have just initiated another study of the physical therapy practice called dry needling to determine the potential for infection by skin bacteria (including Staphylococci) in patients undergoing this treatment. I have been involved with two collaborative projects with TVA to study the impact of coal ash leachates on water quality. Through another collaboration, this time with colleagues in UTC’s College of Engineering, several students of mine and I are studying roles that bacterial growth might play in the clogging of pervious concrete increasingly used in parking lots and on certain roads to reduce rates of runoff. A proposed student project that should get underway later this year would merge some of my earlier work on bioremediation with bacterial growth in pervious concrete in an attempt to help reduce contamination of water percolating through this concrete.

 

Grants/Projects

2013. MRI: Acquisition of growth chambers for global change biology research and research training at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. NSF Division of Biological Infrastructure, Major Research Instrumentation. (Major participant with - Boyd J (PI); Chatzimanolis S, Klug H, Shaw J, Wilson TP (co-PIs); Potts GE). $342,945.

2012. Self-Cleaning Pervious Concrete Pavement. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Collaborative Research Initiative for Sponsored Programs. (With - Onyango, M., T. Thomas, B. Rollins, A. Soriano, M. Heinzer, and T. Kinder). $9,977.

2011. AlgaeWheel for treating fossil plant aqueous pollutants, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Components. Tennessee Valley Authority. $45,232.

2009-10 Acquisition of a laser confocal microscope for research and teaching purposes. National Science Foundation, Major Research Instrumentation Program. (Co-PI with E. Carver, S. Chatzimanolis, J. Kim, C. Nelson). $184,188.

2009-10 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga collaborative Projects for the NBII SAIN Node. U.S. Geological Survey. (Co-PI with J. Shaw, S. Smullen, T. Wilson, and A. Carroll). $65,000.

2009 A comparison of biodiversity of three groups of anaerobic bacteria in sediments of local wetlands having different histories of contamination. UC Foundation, Faculty Research Grants. $2,800.


Publications

Spratt, H. G., Jr., D. Levine, and L. Tillman. 2014. Physical therapy clinic therapeutic ultrasound equipment as a source for bacterial contamination. In Press (Jan 2014) Physiotherapy Theory and Practice.

Spratt, H. G., Jr. 2002. The impact of timber harvest on surface soil microbial community activity in clear-cut Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project plots. p196-211. In S. R. Shifley and J. Kabrick (eds), Proceedings of the Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project Symposium, Natural Areas Association Conference, St. Louis, MO. Gen. Tech. Rep. GTR NC-227. St. Paul, MN: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station.

Spratt, H. G., Jr. 1998. Organic sulfur and the retention of nutrient cations in forest surface soils. Wat. Air Soil Pol. 105:305-317.

Spratt, H. G., Jr. 1997. Aspects of carbon and sulfur transformations in MOFEP surface soils: Pretreatment conditions. pp. 69-105. In B. L. Brookshire and S. R. Shifley (eds), Proceedings of the Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project Symposium: An experimental approach to landscape research. St. Louis, MO. Gen. Tech. Rep. GTR NC-193. St. Paul, MN: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station.

Spratt, H. G., Jr. 1997. Microbial sulfur transformations in A-horizon soils of a Missouri Ozark forest managed for timber production by clear-cutting. Soil Biol. Biochem. 29:1639-1646.

Morgan, M. D., M. H. Diegmann, and H. G. Spratt, Jr. 1996. Fate of anthropogenic sulfur in a cedar-dominated wetland. In D. D. Adams, S. P. Seitzinger, and P. M. Crill (eds), Cycling of reduced gases in the hydrosphere. Mitt. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 25:125-135.

 

Technical Reports

Spratt, H. G., Jr., 2012. AlgaeWheel for treating fossil plant aqueous pollutants, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga components. Project Report, Tennessee Valley Authority, Chattanooga, TN. 21 pp.

Spratt, H. G., Jr., I. Howlett, G. Brodie, and J. Pinnix. 2008. Assessment of microbial processes occurring in a constructed wetland treating acidic seep waters at the Widows creek Fossil Plant. Project Report, Tennessee Valley Authority, Chattanooga, TN. 30 pp.

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