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Dr. Kevin E. Shuman

Assistant Director of STEM Initiatives

Why I Teach

I teach to provide my students with the philosophy that learning is not rote memorization, but understanding available information and applying it toward answering new questions or developing novel solutions to relevant problems. I also want to provide my students with the skills needed in order to successfully compete after graduation.

Professional Activities

My primary job is to administer the Cannon Scholars (S-STEM) Program, which is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Undergraduates that are STEM majors (Biology, Biological Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Mathematics) and meet the requirements of the Cannon Scholars Program receive scholarships and are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research.

My major research interests are in environmental microbiology, microbial physiology, and evolutionary biology. Current research projects focus on how microbes transform both inorganic and organic sulfur compounds within the St. Jones watershed with a primary focus on Silver Lake in Dover, DE. Microbial sulfur cycling plays a key role in maintaining the concentration of different sulfur compounds (e.g. sulfate, elemental sulfur, and sulfide) within the environment. An increase in the concentration of sulfide within the water column can be fatal to fish and other organisms. Many pharmaceutical drugs and pesticides also contain sulfur. Improper disposal of these compounds results in their accumulation within the environment, which may select for microbes capable of their biodegradation.

Undergraduate students involved in this research have the opportunity to present their results at scientific conferences, such as the American Chemical Society National Meeting and the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Upon the successful completion of their project, students have the opportunity to participate in the writing and publication of their research.

These research projects are funding through financial support from an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH grant no. P20GM103446, Delaware INBRE program, 2014-2019); a National Science Foundation (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research grant EPS-0814251 (Delaware EPSCoR program, 2013-2018); an NSF S-STEM grant 1355554 (2014-2019); and the State of Delaware.

Publications

  • K.E. Shuman, T.E. Hanson. 2016. A Sulfide:Quinone Oxidoreductase from Chlorobaculum tepidum displays unusual kinetic properties. FEMS Microbiology Letters 363:1-8. PMID: 27190141
  • K.C. Biswas, L.L. Barton, W.L. Tsui, K.E. Shuman, J. Gillespie, C.S. Eze. 2011. A Novel Method for the Measurement of Elemental Selenium Produced by Bacterial Reduction of Selenite. Journal of Microbiological Methods 86:140-144. PMID: 21536079
  • M.J. D’Souza, K.E. Shuman, A.O. Omondi, D.N. Kevill. 2011. Detailed Analysis for the Solvolysis of Isopropenyl Chloroformate. European Journal of Chemistry 2:130-135. PMID: 21881623
  • M.J. D’Souza, K.E. Shuman, S.E. Carter, D.N. Kevill. 2008. Extended Grunwald-Winstein Analysis – LFER Used to Gauge Solvent Effects in p-Nitrophenyl Chloroformate Solvolysis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 9:2231-2242. PMID: 19330071

Degrees

  • Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, University of Delaware
  • B.S. in Biology, Wesley College

Courses Taught

  • BI406 Research Methods
  • BI404 Biology Senior Seminar
  • BI407 Experimental and Project Research
  • BI335 Immunology and Immunohematology Lab

Contact Information