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Department of Biological Sciences
Science Building, Room 338
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7537
(509) 963-2731

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Dr. Holly C. Pinkart

Dr. Holly Pinkart stands next to three tortoises

Holly C. Pinkart, Professor & Department Chair

Science Building, Room 338A
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7537
(509) 963-2710



Ph. D. University of Tennessee (Microbiology), 1996. 

B.S. California State University, Long Beach (Microbiology major, Chemistry minor), 1990.


I have taught many courses here at CWU, most of which are associated with microbiology, but also teach general biology, environmental studies, courses affiliated with the STEP program, and freshman advising courses. In recent years, I have taught Introductory Biology (BIOL 101)General Microbiology (BIOL 323)Virology (BIOL 421)Medical Microbiology (BIOL 426, BIOL 426L)Environmental Microbiology (BIOL 420)Environmental Studies (ENST 302), and Biology Senior Seminar (BIOL 499S) courses. Clicking on the highlighted courses will link you to the syllabi for those courses.


My research interests center around microbial ecology and physiology. My recent research has focused on the microbial ecology and microbial activities associated with Soap Lake, a saline alkaline lake in central Washington (for details visit NSF Microbial Observatory at Soap Lake). I have an active research lab with many opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. Recent student projects have included

  • Development of clone libraries of alkaliphilic microorganisms
  • Isolation and characterization of novel Bacterial and Archaeal species
  • Molecular characterization of alkaliphilic bacteriophage
  • Biological formation of minerals
  • Assessment of the effects of Soap Lake water on biofilms
  • Arsenic bioremediation
  • Microbial production of ethanol from lignocellulose

If you are interested participating in research in my lab, I do expect a serious commitment of time and intellectual effort, and that you will present the products of your research at SOURCE and other venues.

Recent Publications

  • Asao, M., Pinkart, H. C. and Madigan, M. T. 2011. Diversity of extremophilic purple phototrophic bacteria in Soap Lake, a Central Washington (USA) Soda Lake. Environmental Microbiology, 13: no. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02449.x
  • Vanengelen, M., B. Peyton, M. Mormile, and H. Pinkart. 2008. Fe(III), Cr(VI), and Fe(III) mediated Cr(VI) reduction in alkaline media using a Halomonas isolate from Soap Lake, Washington. Biodegradation 19: 841-850
  • Dimitriu, P., H. Pinkart, B. Peyton, and M. Mormile. 2008. Spatial and Temporal Patterns in the Microbial Diversity of a Meromictic Soda Lake in Washington State. Appl. Envir. Microbiol. 74: 4877-4888
  • Storrie- Lombardi, M. C. and H.C. Pinkart. 2007. Coevolution of cyanophage and cyanobacteria in an Antarctic lake. Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X. Proc. SPIE 6694(66941E):53-66
  • Pinkart, H.C., M. C. Storrie- Lombardi. 2007. Diversity, evolution, and horizontal gene transfer in soda lakes. Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X. Proc. SPIE 6694(66940Y): 30-41
  • Sorokin, D.Y., M. Foti**, H.C. Pinkart, and G.Muyzer. 2007.Sulfur-Oxidizing Bacteria in Soap Lake (Washington State), a Meromictic, Haloalkaline Lake with an Unprecedented High Sulfide Content. Appl. Envir. Microbiol. 73: 451-455.
  • Pinkart, H.C., B. Simonsen*, M. R. Mormile, and B. M. Peyton. 2006. The sulfur cycle in a permanently meromictic haloalkaline lake. Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology IX. Proc. SPIE 6309: 21-31.
  • Dimitriu, P.A., S. K. Shukla, J. Conradt, M. C. Marquez, A. Ventosa, A. Maglia, B. M. Peyton, H. C. Pinkart and M. R. Mormile. 2005. Nitrincola lacisaponensisgen. nov., sp. nov., a novel alkaliphilic bacterium isolated from an alkaline, saline lake. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 55: 2273-2278
  • Krauter, P. , B. Daily, V. Dibley, H. Pinkart and T. Legler. 2005. Perchlorate and Nitrate Remediation Efficiency and Microbial Diversity in a Containerized Wetland Bioreactor. Int. J. Phytoremediation. 7: 113-128.

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