Morgen E. Anyan

Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
University of Notre Dame
(574) 631-2962 (Office)



My research focuses on factors that affect the swarming motility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a ubiquitous, Gram negative bacterium. Swarming is the coordinated group movement of cells across a semi-solid surface, and is thought to aide P. aeruginosa's ability to form biofilms and colonize environmental niches. Specifically, I have investigated how surface moisture, temperature, humidity and type IV pili (TFP) affect swarm phenotypes and dynamics.

Figure 1P. aeruginosa swarm assays, demonstrating the variety of phenotypes produced when TFP expression is deleted or altered.

I am also investigating how cadmium and nickel affect P. aeruginosa growth and swarming motility in order to better understand how heavy metals and bacteria interact.


Du, H., Z. Xu, M. Anyan, O. Kim, W. M. Leevy, J. D. Shrout and M. Alber.  High density waves of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa in propagating swarms result in efficient colonization of surfaces. Biophysical Journal (2012) 103: 601-9.

Anyan, M., G. Tierra Chica, N. Morales-Soto, C. M. Driscoll, C. W. Harvey, M. Alber and J. D. Shrout. Type IV Pili Limit Optimal Swarming for Pseudomonas aeruginosa (manuscript in progress).


University of Notre Dame (2010-present)
     PhD-seeking graduate student

Washington State University (2006-2010)
     Bachelor of Science, Civil and Environmental Engineering
     Honors College graduate
     Member, Engineers Without Borders


Environmental intern (May-August, 2010)
     BP Cherry Point Refinery, Blaine, WA

Undergraduate researcher (June-August, 2008 and 2009)
     Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University
          Evaluated cadmium sorption to biogenic iron oxides.
          Investigated enhanced PAH degradation through salicylate addition.


When ESPN College Gameday came to Notre Dame I helped fly Ol’ Crimson, a fixture on Gameday since 2003, and the symbol of Washington State’s Undefeated Fans.

The BP Cherry Point interns volunteering at the Bellingham Food Bank’s garden.

While at Washington State, I was a member of the Nuthouse Improv Comedy troupe.