Laura G. Leff

Kent State University - Biological Sciences


  • PhD | University of Georgia

Select Publications

  • Akins, L., P. Ayayee and L. G. Leff.  2018. Composition and Diversity of Cyanobacteria-Associated and Free-Living Bacterial Communities During Cyanobacterial Blooms.  Annals of Microbiology, 68:493-503.
  • Ayayee, P., C. Cosgrove, A. Roberto, A. Beckwith, and L. G. Leff. 2018. Gut bacterial assemblages of freshwater macroinvertebrate functional feeding groups, Hydrobiologia, 822:157-172.
  • Leff, L. G. 2018.  Freshwater Habitats in Encyclopedia of Microbiology, 4e, accepted.
  • Lu, X., D. L. Bade, L. G. Leff. and X. Mou. 2018. The Relative Importance of Anammox and Denitrification to Total N2 Production in Lake Erie.  Journal of Great Lakes Research. 822:157-172.
  • Roberto, A., J. Van Gray and L.G. Leff. 2018. Sediment bacteria in an urban stream: Spatiotemporal patterns in community composition, Water Research, 134: 353-369.

My research focuses on microbial ecology of aquatic ecosystems with emphasis on bacterial ecology of streams. Present projects in my laboratory include: Our lab focuses on examining responses of microorganisms to their environment. Examples of recent projects in the lab include: 

  • Connecting microbial community structure and function
  • Microbial communities of acid mine impacted streams and changes in the community associated with remediation
  • Effects of dissolved organic matter on denitrification in agricultural streams
  • Leaf decomposition in wetlands, streams and terrestrial systems
  • Response of bacteria to nutrients and carbon
  • Impacts of urbanization on bacterial community composition and antibiotic resistance

In each project, we use a variety of molecular biology techniques and microscopy to examine properties such as bacterial and fungal community structure, gene expression, diversity of denitrification genes, etc.  We seek to integrate the fields of microbiology and ecology.

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