EDUCATION:
  • Postdoctoral, 1992-1996, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Ph.D. 1992, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.S. 1985, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
  • A.B. 1983, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg, VA.
OCCUPATIONAL RECORD:
  • Aug, 2005 – current. Professor of Microbiology, Biology, Central Michigan University 
  • Aug. 2001- Aug. 2005. Associate Professor of Microbiology, Biology, Central Michigan University. Aug. 
  • 1996- Aug. 2001. Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Biology, Central Michigan University. 
  • Sept.1994 - Jul.1996. Research Specialist, Environmental Microbiology, University of Illinois. Dr. Lutgarde Raskin, supervisor. 
  • July 1992 - June 1995. Research Specialist, Microbial Ecology, University of Illinois. Dr. David A. Stahl, supervisor.
REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICATIONS:
  • Bauer, LM and EW Alm. 2012. Escherichia coli Toxin and Attachment Genes in Sand at Great Lakes Recreational Beaches. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 38:129-133
  • Walk, ST., Alm, EW, Gordon, DM, Ram, JL., Toranzos, GA., Tiedje, JM., and TS Whittam. 2009. Cryptic Lineages of the Genus Escherichia. Applied and Environmental Microbiology.75(20): 6534-6544.
  • Walk, S.T., E. Alm, L.M. Calhoun, J.M. Mladonicky, T.S. Whittam. 2007. Genetic diversity and population structure of Escherichia coli isolated from freshwater beaches. Environmental Microbiology. 9(9): 2274-2288. Abstract.
  • VanOmmeren, L. and E.W. Alm. 2006. Development and Application of Rapid Antibiotic Resistance Analysis for Microbial Source Tracking in the Black River Watershed, Michigan. Journal of Lake and Reservoir Management. 22(3): 240-244. 
  • Alm, E.W., J. Burke, and E. Hagan. 2006. Persistence and Potential Growth of the Fecal Indicator Bacteria, Escherichia coli, in Shoreline Sand at Lake Huron. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 32 (2): 401-405. Abstract.
  • Alm, E.W., J. Burke, and A. Spain. 2003. Fecal indicator bacteria are abundant in wet sand at freshwater beaches. Water Research. 37(16): 3978-3982. Abstract.
RECENT GRANT PROPOSALS FUNDED:
  • Gull Exclusion Zones at Public Beaches. EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Co-PI Thomas Gehring, CMU.
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS:
  • Reviewer for Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Science and Technology, Journal of Environmental Quality, Journal of Great Lakes Research, Water Research
  • Honorary Member and Co-Advisor, Student Association for Microbiology, Central Michigan University since 1998
  • American Society for Microbiology, member since 1994
Elizabeth Alm and Students taking samples on a lakeshoreMy interests within the subdiscipline of Environmental Microbiology lie in understanding microbial communities in aquatic ecosystems. I am particularly interested in the fate of pathogenic bacteria in aquatic environments. Research in my lab has involved examinations of microbial community structure in drinking water sources, pathogen detection in recreational water, fecal contamination sourcing, molecular detection of E. coli virulence genes in beach sand, and characterization of avian influenza viruses at migratory stopover sites. Our studies utilize a combination of traditional microbiological techniques and molecular techniques such as PCR, DGGE, and membrane hybridizations. See below for more details. Our lab is an affiliate of the Institute for Great Lakes Research.

 Current Grant Funded Research Projects
 Graduate Research Projects in Dr. Alm's Lab
 Undergraduate Research in Dr. Alm's Lab
 Alma Lab Publications
 Research Facilities
 Alm Lab Alumni
BIO 208 General Microbiology: This is a one-semester survey of microbiology required for Biology majors and minors, dietetics majors, and public health majors. Taught in rotation with Dr. Greg Colores and Dr. Peter Kourtev.

BIO 325 Biotechnology: This course is intended to help prepare students for research and development careers in the biotechnology industry or for research in academia (e.g., lab technician, graduate school, or BIO 403 projects). Major course goals include developing basic laboratory skills in biotechnology and familiarity with commonly used DNA and protein techniques such as PCR, restriction digests, protein purification, and Western blots, the ability to work as a member of a team, and effective writing skills.

BIO 580 Medical Microbiology: The goal of this course is to provide a foundation of concepts in host-microbe interactions that will allow students to understand the diseases facing humankind today and be prepared to understand the diseases coming tomorrow. This advanced course is designed for graduate students and upper-level undergraduate students interested in microbiology and/or pursuing pre-professional studies in healthcare related subjects.

BIO 610 Advanced Topics In Microbiology - Topics vary and have included: Microbial Ecology, Emergence of Infectious Disease, and Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease.
In an average season, influenza, a respiratory infection, affects about 20% of a community, resulting in 40,000 deaths nationwide.

The best time to receive the flu vaccine is from mid-October to mid-November to allow time for immunity to develop before the winter flu season starts (In Michigan, usually in Jan) and to last through the season. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop.

Local Flu Vaccine Availability: Flu Vaccine is now available at University Health Services for CMU students, and for faculty, staff, and their spouses and dependents age 14 years or older. CMU retirees and MMCC students are also eligible. Vaccine is offered in the UHS Quick Care Clinic, Foust 104, Monday-Friday, 8:30-10:00 a.m., no appointment needed. Park in Lot 29 at designated signs. Charge is $25.

Payment to University Health Services may be made by cash, check or charged to an employee's university account.

For information on influenza activity in the U.S., including activity maps, click here.
New members are always welcome!! Experience not necessary, only interest.

The Student Association for Microbiology has been in existence for about 6 years and was formed as a way for microbiology students in the biology department at CMU to get to know one another better and promote communication among the microbiology students. Some of the most commonly asked questions about our group are:

What is the purpose of your organization?
The goals of the Student Association for Microbiology (SAM) are to promote research and education for undergraduates and graduates in microbiology related fields at CMU.

What are the strengths of your organization?
SAM is a unique organization, designed to be educational, enjoyable, and practical for its members and to promote microbiology in the Biology Department at Central Michigan University.

What will your organization do to help promote diversity on campus or in Mt. Pleasant?
SAM is a proponent for the dissemination of knowledge, and knowledge by its nature embraces diversity in all its incarnations.

Describe a goal that is important to your group?
SAM would like to host speakers that are professionally oriented with microbiology and related fields, and we aim to attend scientific conferences that address microbiological topics. We would also like to promote microbiology awareness on campus and in Mt. Pleasant.

Some of SAM's activities:
  • Hosted pizza movie nights to raise awareness of microbiology on campus and to attract new members to the organization. The movies always had a microbiological theme (i.e. "Outbreak") 
  • Fund raising 
  • Participating student club in the Michigan Branch of the American Society for Microbiology 
  • Sponsored several members of SAM to attend the 104th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in May 2004 in New Orleans, LA.
Microbes in the News