Joe Duris

Hi, I'm Joe Duris. I'm interested in microbial ecology and bacteria and their interactions with the environment. Have any questions, feel free to contact me.




Throughout my time at the USGS I have been actively involved in the Toxics Substances Hydrology program in evaluating the occurrence, fate, and transport of fecally-derived pathogens and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Currently, my research interests include understanding how human practices, including agriculture and urbanization, affect the occurrence, distribution, fate, and transport of nutrients, sediment, trace organic compounds, and pathogenic bacteria in surface water, and how trace contamination affects the microbial ecology of unique environments, especially as they relate to human and environmental health.  I am currently active on the USGS team that is researching the formation and toxicity of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes. For 2011-2016, I was the Michigan Water Science Center’s Water Quality Specialist where I helped develop larger monitoring programs and oversaw the study design, data quality, and reporting for several local and regional USGS water-quality studies around the state and region.

Early in my career I worked in a molecular biology lab developing and applying PCR, ELISA, and growth assays to detect fecally-derived bacterial pathogens in water, sediment, and manure from various sources (agricultural drainage, stream water, bed sediment, agricultural soil, manure, etc). These assays were applied to understand the relation between land-use and pathogenic bacteria in agricultural settings and to determine the relation of pathogens to trace-organic chemicals of emerging concern that co-occur in the environment. In the middle 2000s, I began working on National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Surface Water Status and Trends. During this time, I was involved in pilot studies evaluating the relation of mercury and antibiotic resistance, and assessing the status of a stream network for a variety of pesticides. Since then, I have worked with both organic and inorganic water chemistry and have lead or worked on multiple studies evaluating the correlation and effect of altered water chemistry on the number, type, and function of environmental and fecally-derived pathogenic bacteria.

I received my BS in Biomedical Science in 1998 and my MS in Biological Science in 2002 with a focus on Environmental Microbiology from Western Michigan University.  I started my USGS career at the Michigan Water Science Center in Lansing, MI before moving to the Pennsylvania Water Science Center in 2016.