Amelia Elena Rotaru

Dr. Amelia-Elena Rotaru  

Phone (work):  (+1)-413-577-3069

Email: arotaru(@)



Nov 2010Nov 2013 Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA. Mentor: Prof. Derek Lovley.

Mar 2009 - Oct 2010 Postdoctoral researcher, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center, University of Aarhus, Denmark. Mentor: Assoc. Prof. Rikke Meyer.

May 2005 Feb 2009 Doctoral researcher, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany. Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Jens Harder.

May 2003 Aug 2003 Research assistant, Institute of Biochemistry of the Romanian Academy of Science, Bucharest, Romania.


May 2005 Feb 2009 PhD studies, MPI for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany. On June 9th, 2009  I received my doctorate degree (Dr Rer Nat) awarded by University of Bremen within the frame of the International Max Planck Research School, Bremen, Germany.

Oct 2003 April 2005 Master studies in Marine Microbiology, MPI for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany. On April 15, 2005 I received my masters degree in Marine Microbiology, awarded by the International Max Planck Research School, Bremen, Germany.

Oct 2002 – June 2003 Master studies in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology, University of Bucharest, Romania.

Oct 1998 – June 2002 BSc Biochemistry, University of Bucharest, Romania. On July 29, 2002 I received my diploma in Biochemistry, University of Bucharest, Romania.



Google Schoolar Profile:


1.     Feist AM, Nagarajan H, Rotaru AE, Tremblay PL, Zhang T, Nevin K, Lovley DR, Zengler K. Constraint-based modeling of carbon fixation and the energetics of electron transfer in Geobacter. (Submitted)

2.     Cheng S,Rotaru AE*, Shrestha PM, Malvankar N,Nevin K, Lovley DR. Promoting interspecies electron transfer with biochar (Submitted); *Corresponding author.

3.     Rotaru AE*#, Shrestha PM#, Liu F, Shrestha M, Shrestha D, Wardman C, Embree M, Zengler K, Nevin K, Lovley DR. A new model of electron flow during anaerobic digestion: direct interspecies electron transfer to Methanosaeta. (2013) Energy and Environmental Science. 7(1):409-415 (Impact factor: 11.7)

4.     Nagarajan H, Embree M, Rotaru AE, Shrestha PM, Feist AM, Palson BO, Lovley DR, Zengler K.  A multilevel characterization of interspecies electron transfer mechanisms and microbial community dynamics of syntrophic associations. (2013) Nature Communications. 4:doi:10.1038/ncomms3809 (Impact factor: 10)

5.     Shrestha PM, Rotaru AE, Liu F, Aklujkar M, Summers ZM and Lovley DR. Syntrophic growth with direct interspecies electron transfer as the primary mechanism for energy exchange (2013) Environmental Microbiology Reports. 5(6): 904-910(Impact Factor: 2.7)

6.     Shrestha PM, Rotaru AE, Summers ZM, Liu F, Shrestha M, and Lovley DR. Transcriptomic and genetic analysis of direct interspecies electron transfer. (2013) Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79(7): 2397-2404 (Impact factor: 3.7)


7.     Rotaru AE*, Shrestha PM, Liu F, Ueki T, Nevin KP, Summers ZM and Lovley DR. Interspecies electron transfer via hydrogen and formate rather than direct electric connections in co-cultures of Pelobacter carbinolicus and Geobacter sulfurreducens. (2012) Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78(21): 7645-7651. (Impact factor: 3.7); *Corresponding author

8.     Liu F, Rotaru AE, Shrestha PM, Malvankar M, Nevin KP and Lovley DR. Promoting direct interspecies electron transfer with activated carbon. (2012) Energy and Environmental Science 2012(5): 8982-8989. (Impact factor: 11.7)

9.     Rotaru AE, Jiang W, Finster K, Skrydstrup T and Meyer RL.  Non-enzymatic palladium recovery on microbial and synthetic surfaces. (2012) Biotechnology & Bioengineering109(8): 1889-97. (Impact factor: 3.6)

10.  Rotaru AE, Schauer R, Probian C, Mussmann M, Harder J. (2012) Visualization of Candidate Division OP3 cocci in limonene degrading methanogenic cultures. Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology 22(4): 457-461. (Impact factor: 1.4)

11.  Hosseinkhani B, Søbjerg LS, Rotaru AE, Emtiazi G, Skrydstrup T, Meyer RL. (2012) Microbial supported synthesis of catalytically active bimetallic Pd-Au nanoparticles. Biotechnology & Bioengineering 109(1): 45-52. (Impact factor: 3.6)


12.  Lovley DR, Ueki T, Zhang T, Malvankar NS, Shrestha PM, Flanagan K, Aklujkar M, Butler JE, Giloteaux L, Rotaru AE, Holmes DE, Franks AE, Orellana R, Risso C, Nevin KP. Geobacter: the microbe electric’s physiology, ecology, and practical applications. (2011) Advances in Microbial Physiology 59: 1-100. (Impact factor: 6.5)

13.  Morita M, Malvankar NS, Franks AE, Summers ZM, Giloteaux L, Rotaru AE, Rotaru C, Lovley DR. (2011) Potential for direct interspecies electron transfer in methanogenic wastewater digester aggregates. mBio 2(4): e00159-1. (Impact factor: 5.6)


14.  Bunge M, Søbjerg LS, Rotaru AE, Gauthier D, Lindhardt AT, Hause G, Finster K, Kingshott P, Skrydstrup T and Meyer RL. (2010) Formation of palladium (0) nanoparticles at microbial surfaces. Biotechnology & Bioengineering 107: 206-215. (Impact factor: 3.6)

15.  Rotaru AE, Probian C, Wilkes H and Harder J. Highly enriched Betaproteobacteria growing anaerobically with p-xylene and nitrate. (2010) FEMS Microbiology Ecology 71: 460-468. (Impact factor: 3.6)

*Corresponding author.  #Equal contribution.

Other academic papers

• Diploma thesis: “Role of 5-alpha reductase in male sexual differentiation”.2002

• Master thesis: “Genomic analysis of the endosymbiotic community of a gutless marine worm (Olavius algarvensis)”. 2005

• PhD thesis: “Anaerobic degradation of limonene and p-xylene in freshwater enrichment cultures” 2009

Grants awarded:

• Danish National Research Council – independent research grant from the Danish Natural Science Foundation with the University of Southern Denmark (September 30, 2013) – received 2.046.960 DKK ($372.000)

• Dale Mortensen fellowship for junior independent researchers, University of Aarhus, Denmark (October 18, 2013)

Other awards and recognitions:

• Editor’s choice for outstanding papers: 2013 Shrestha et al., AEM 79(7): 2397-2404; 2012Rotaru et al., B&B109(8): 1889-97; 2010 Bunge et al., B&B 107:206-215

• 2009 Magna cum laude (PhD), Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany.

• 2006 MarMic teaching award Max Planck Institute Research School, Bremen, Germany.

• 2006 coauthor of 1st prize awarded poster at the ISME symposium, Vienna, Austria

• 2003-2005 Graduate student scholarship, International Max Planck Research School for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany. 

• 1998-2002 Excellence student scholarship, University of Bucharest, Romania  

Teaching and supervising:

• Supervising independent research studies of 7 undergraduates

• Suprevising laboratory rotations of 2 master students

• Co-supervising research of 2 visiting PhD students

• Teaching Bio497, Bio396, and ChE499T at UMass Amherst (2011, 2012, 2013)

• Teaching assistant in practical graduate course ‘Biology of marine prokaryotic microorganisms’ (5 months in 2005-2006, 3 weeks in 2006, and 1 week in 2007)

• Tutoring thermodynamics as part of the course ‘Biology of marine prokaryotic microorganisms’ (MarMic 2007)

• Invited lectures for courses on marine microbiology with special focus on syntrophy among prokaryotes (MarMic 2006, 2007, 2008)

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