Environmental Health

Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory

About the Laboratory

Microbiologists at the Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory (MI-BaRL) use a wide array of traditional and modern molecular approaches to evaluate microbial pathogens and antimicrobial resistance pathways in the environment. The MI-BaRL uses these approaches to advance the understanding of how environmental contaminants affect microbial processes and influence the health of the Nation's aquatic resources, and consequently, the wildlife and humans using those resources. The MI-BaRL continues to optimize new tools and assays to work with a variety of environmental matrices, including water, sediment, manure, biosolids, biofilms, plant material, and animal tissue.

A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) microbiologist prepares a water sample for enterococci testing

Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory — Lansing, Michigan. A microbiologist preparing a water sample

(Credit: Ian M. Hyslop. Public domain.)

 

A microbiologist prepares a reaction in a Biological Safety Cabinet

Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory — Lansing, Michigan. A microbiologist prepares a reaction in a Biological Safety Cabinet. These cabinets are frequently used in laboratories to protect the scientist, the lab environment, and prevent contaminating a sample.

(Credit: Heather Johnson - Contact: Carrie E. Givens, USGS. Public domain.)

Counting total coliforms is an easy task when plating on the selective media, MI agar

Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory — Lansing, Michigan. Counting total coliforms is an easy task when plating on the selective media, MI agar. The MI agar method is a membrane-filtration method for the detection of Escherichia coli and total coliforms. Total coliforms fluoresce blue under ultraviolet (UV) light.

(Credit: Carrie E. Givens, usgs. Public domain.)

 

 

A disposable, sterile L-spreader, or "hockey stick," is used to plate a tapwater sample on selective media for Legionella

Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory — Lansing, Michigan. A disposable, sterile L-spreader, or "hockey stick," is used to plate a tapwater sample on selective media for Legionella—the bacterium which causes Legionnaire's disease.

(Credit: Ian M. Hyslop, USGS. Public domain.)

 

A USGS microbiologist pours a groundwater sample into a sterile filter cup

Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory — Lansing, Michigan. A USGS microbiologist pours a groundwater sample into a sterile filter cup. This water sample will be pulled through a 0.2 micron filter, and will ultimately be used to characterize what bacteria are present within the groundwater sample.

(Credit: Carrie E. Givens, USGS. Public domain.)

 

Contacts

Carrie Givens

Microbiologist
Upper Midwest Water Science Center
Phone: 517-887-8933

Michael Focazio, PhD

Environmental Health Program Coordinator
Ecosystems
Phone: 703-648-6808

Geoffrey Plumlee, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist
Office of the Director
Phone: 703-648-6403