Deric R. Learman

Assistant Professor
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Institute for Great Lakes Research

Brooks Hall 319 (office)
Brooks Hall 311 (laboratory)

Research Website


  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Harvard University, 2008-2011
  • Ph.D., Virginia Tech, 2008
  • B.S., Central Michigan University, 2003


  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Society of Microbiology
  • Geochemical Society

Teaching Areas

Physical Geology, Dangerous Planet, Environmental Geochemistry, Microbiology, Biogeochemistry, and Soil Science

Research Interests

My overall research interests are directed towards understanding the genetic and physiological responses of microorganisms that control biogeochemical cycles in various environments, ranging from lakes to soils. Specifically, my lab focuses on describing how microorganisms interact with minerals that control geochemical cycles. Minerals, such as iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) oxides, are ubiquitous in the environment and important for controlling the fate of toxic metals (e.g. lead, chromium), carbon cycling, and soil stability.

As a member of the CMU Institute for Great Lakes Research, my lab is also interested in understanding how these dynamic processes function in the Great Lakes Basin. To understand these processes my lab utilizes a range of conventional and sophisticated techniques in molecular biology, biochemistry, and geochemistry.

Selected Publications

  • Learman, D.R., Webb, S.M., Wankel, S.D., Martinez, N., Madden, A.S., and Hansel, C.M.  (In Press) Coupled biotic-abiotic Mn(II) oxidation pathway mediates the formation and structural evolution of biogenic Mn oxides.  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.
  • Hansel, C.M., Learman, D.R., Lentini, C.L., and Ekstrom, E.B.  (2011) Effect of Adsorbed and Substituted Al on Fe(II)-Induced Mineralization Pathways of Ferrihydrite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume:  75, Pages: 4653-4666.
  • Learman, D.R., Voelker, B.M., Vazquez-Rodriguez, A.I., and Hansel, C.M.  (2011) Formation of Manganese oxides by bacterially generated superoxide.  Nature Geoscience, Volume: 4, Pages: 95-98.
  • Ekstrom, E.B., Learman, D.R., Madden, A.S., and Hansel, C.M. (2010) Contrasting Effects of Al Substitution on Microbial Reduction of Fe(III) (Hydr)oxides. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume:  74, Pages: 7086-7099.
  • Learman, D.R., Yi, H., Brown, S.D., Martin, S.L., Geesey, G.G., Stevens, A.M., and Hochella, M.F. Jr. (2009) Involvement of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 LuxS in biofilm development and sulfur metabolism, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Volume: 75 Issue 5, Pages: 1301-1307.