Professor Mark Osborn is a molecular microbiologist with research interests in environmental microbiology, microbial ecology and microbial biotechnology.
Mark joined RMIT University in December 2013, originally as an Associate Professor, prior to promotion to Professor (January 2017). Mark has also served as the Associate Dean for the Biosciences and Food Technology Discipline, in the School of Science between October 2016 and September 2019.
Prior to joining RMIT, he held academic positions (including Professorial positions) in several UK universities, with prior postdoctoral positions in Germany and the UK:
- Professor of Biotechnology (University of Lincoln, UK 2012-2013, including service as Director of Research for the College of Science)
- Professor of Biological Sciences (University of Hull, UK 2010-2012, including service as Deputy Head of the Department of Biological Sciences)
- Senior Lecturer in Environmental Microbiology (University of Sheffield, UK, 2005-2010, including service as the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences)
- Lecturer in Microbiology (University of Essex, UK, 1999-2004)
- Postdoctoral Research Scientist (GBF National Research Centre for Biotechnology, Braunschweig, Germany, 1998-1999)
- Postdoctoral Research Associate (University of Liverpool, 1995-1998)
Learning and Teaching activities
Mark has extensive teaching experience and interests across a range of subjects including Microbiology, Biotechnology, Molecular Biology, Environmental Science and Ecology. Further details are available under key activities.
Mark's 'Microbial Life' research group aims to understand the role, function and ecology of microorganisms within natural and man-made terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments and in particular to understand how human activity impacts upon microbial processes and in turn how microorganisms respond to and mitigate against environmental pollution.
If you are interested in joining Mark's research group as either a postdoctoral researcher or as a Ph.D., M.Sc. or Honours student, please get in touch by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mark has supervised over 20 students to successful completion of Ph.D. degrees.
Mark has published 90 peer-reviewed publications, cited over 9,000 times in total. He has an H' index of 43 (Google Scholar). A full publication list is available on Mark 's Google Scholar account,
Mark is the principal editor of a textbook on Molecular Microbial Ecology:
- Osborn, AM & Smith, CJ (2005) Molecular Microbial Ecology. Taylor and Francis, Abingdon, UK. 381pp.
Mark leads a team of researchers studying the structure, composition and function of microbial communities (microbiomes) within natural and built environments. Current and recent research projects focuses on pollution microbiology (plastics, bioplastics and hydrocarbons), drinking water microbiology, antibiotic resistance in aquatic and built environments, groundwater microbiology and food (meat and dairy) microbiology. Mark is also an investigator in the RMIT University-Melbourne Water Aquatic Pollution Prevention Partnership, providing expertise in aquatic microbial ecology and microbial biogeochemical cycling.
In Learning and Teaching, Mark coordinates and delivers the BIOL2256 Introduction to Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics course and delivers microbiology teaching for the first half of the semester for ONPS2555 Introduction to Microbiology for Food and Nutrition.
From 2014-2017 inclusive, he also coordinated and led teaching of BIOL2324/BIOL2370 Environmental Biotechnology and of PROC2048 Biochemical Engineering.
Between 2016 and 2019, Mark served as the Associate Dean for the Biosciences and Food Technology Discipline leading a team of 35 academic and over 20 research staff and having responsibility for leading and managing delivery of over 80 Biosciences, Environmental Science and Food technology courses via face-to-face delivery and a further 27 online and offshore courses.
Environmental microbiology, microbial biotechnology, molecular and microbial ecology and molecular biology.
- Ph.D. in Genetics and Microbiology, University of Liverpool, UK, 1996
- B.Sc. (Hons.) in Genetics and Microbiology, University of Sheffield, UK, 1990
- Member of the State of Victoria Plastic Pollution Reference Group (2018-2019)
- Editor of Plasmid (2003-07)
- Associate Editor for BMC Microbiology (2010-2016)
- Member of the Editorial Board for Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2005-2014)
- Member of the Editorial Board of the ISME Journal (2010-2016)
- Member of the UK Natural Environmental Research Council Peer Review College (2005-08 and (2012-13)
- Member of the Prokaryotic Division Committee (2008-2010) and the Environmental Microbiology Group Committee (2005-2008) of the Society for General Microbiology
- Afshari, R.,Pillidge, C.,Dias, D.,Osborn, M.,Gill, H. (2020). Cheesomics: the future pathway to understanding cheese flavour and quality In: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 60, 333 - 47
- Koshlaf, E.,Shahsavari, E.,Haleyur, N.,Osborn, M.,Ball, A. (2019). Effect of biostimulation on the distribution and composition of the microbial community of a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-contaminated landfill soil during bioremediation In: Geoderma, 338, 216 - 225
- Haleyur, N.,Shahsavari, E.,Jain, S.,Koshlaf, E.,Daniel, V.,Morrison, P.,Osborn, A.,Ball, A. (2019). Influence of bioaugmentation and biostimulation on PAH degradation in aged contaminated soils: Response and dynamics of the bacterial community In: Journal of Environmental Management, 238, 49 - 58
- Haleyur Seetharam, N.,Shahsavari, E.,Taha Elfouly, M.,Khudur, L.,Koshlaf, E.,Osborn, M.,Ball, A. (2018). Assessing the degradation efficacy of native PAH-degrading bacteria from aged, weathered soils in an Australian former gasworks site In: Geoderma, 321, 110 - 117
- Fish, K.,Osborn, A.,Boxall, J. (2017). Biofilm structures (EPS and bacterial communities) in drinking water distribution systems are conditioned by hydraulics and influence discolouration In: Science of the Total Environment, 593-594, 571 - 580
- Currie, A.,Tait, K.,Parry, H.,de Francisco-Mora, B.,Hicks, N.,Osborn, A.,Widdicombe, S.,Stahl, H. (2017). Marine microbial gene abundance and community composition in response to ocean acidification and elevated temperature in two contrasting coastal marine sediments In: Frontiers in Microbiology, 8, 1 - 10
- Fish, K.,Osborn, A.,Boxall, J. (2016). Characterising and understanding the impact of microbial biofilms and the extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrix in drinking water distribution systems In: Environmental Science Water Research and Technology, 2, 614 - 630
- Jensen, H.,Sekar, R.,Shepherd, W.,Osborn, A.,Tait, S.,Biggs, C. (2016). Spatial and temporal variability of bacterial communities within a combined sewer system In: Microbiology Open, 5, 616 - 625
- HALEYUR, N.,Shahsavari, E.,Mansour, A.,Koshlaf, E.,Morrison, P.,Osborn, A.,Ball, A. (2016). Comparison of rapid solvent extraction systems for the GC-MS/MS characterization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in aged, contaminated soil In: MethodsX, 3, 364 - 370
- Oberbeckmann, S.,Osborn, A.,Duhaime, M. (2016). Microbes on a bottle: Substrate, season and geography influence community composition of microbes colonizing marine plastic debris In: PL o S One, 11, 1 - 24
- Microplastic Pollution in River and Marine Sediments across the Port Phillip Bay Catchment. Funded by: Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation Innovation Grants 2015 from (2016 to 2017)
- Impacts of Plastic Pollutants on Seabirds. Funded by: Seaworld Research and Rescue Foundation Grant 2014 from (2015 to 2016)
2 PhD Completions7 PhD Current Supervisions