Dr. Ceth Parker

Last fall Ceth received his PhD in the Integrated Bioscience program at the University of Akron, OH. During his dissertation he worked in the cave microbiology laboratory of Dr. Hazel Barton. His PhD focused on the geomicrobiology of iron caves in Brazil. Specifically, the bulk of his project was on determining if iron-respiring microorganisms are present within iron cave systems, and if so, what kind of role they may play in the formation of these unique caves. His multidisciplinary background bridges the fields of microbiology, molecular biology, bioinformatics, biogeochemistry, and geomorphology.

He is currently a Post Doctorate fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory working in planetary protection with Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran studying microbial adaptation to space environments. Specifically, he is studying how the microgravity environment alters biofilm formation and resistance to high radiation levels in bacteria and fungus.

  • BS in Biology at Juniata College (Huntingdon, PA) in 2012.
  • PhD in Geomicrobiology at the University of Akron (Akron, OH) in 2018.

Research Interests: 

Microbes adapted to nutrient starved (oligotrophic) environments, extremophile adaption to other unique environments, biofilm and other “communal” microbial populations under stress, ice and ocean worlds

Selected Awards: 
  • 2018 August - I won the award for best oral presentation by a young scientist at the 24th International Conference on Subterranean Biology held in Aveiro, Portugal. The talk was entitled Brazilian Iron Formation Caves Reveal a Novel Mechanism of Microbially Driven Cave Formation.
  • 2018 August - I was selected as the recipient of the James G. Mitchell Award for best scientific paper presented by a young scientist during the annual National Speleology Society meeting held in Helena, MT. The talk was entitled Exothenic Speleogenesis: A New Mechanism Of Microbially Driven Cave Formation.
  • 2017 August - Was selected as a top ten finalist in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) 10 year anniversary “Film Your Research Contest”, with the submission of a video demonstrating (and titled) “How to Isolate Magnetotactic Bacteria”. 
  • 2012 - Fulbright Finalist (but not selected) for the division of Sub-Saharan Africa. Analyzing an HIV detection method for use in Botswana.


Selected Publications: 
  • Parker, Ceth W., Auler, Augusto S., Barton, Michael D., Sasowsky, Ira D., Senko, John M., and Barton, Hazel A. 2018. Fe(III) reducing microorganisms from iron ore caves demonstrate fermentative Fe(III) reduction and promote cave formation. Geomicrobiology Journal 35(4): 311-322.
  • Parker, Ceth W., Wolf, JulieA., Auler, Augusto S., Barton, Hazel A., and Senko, John M. 2013. Microbial reducibility of Fe (III) phases associated with the genesis of iron ore caves in the Iron Quadrangle, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Minerals 3(4): 395-411.
  • Auler, Augusto S., Parker, Ceth W., Barton, Hazel A., and Soares, Gustavo A. 2018. Iron Formation Caves: Genesis and Ecology. Published in the Encyclopedia of Caves. In press.
Ceth Parker
4800 Oak Grove Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: 818.354.3562