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Welcome to the Newton Lab at UW-Milwaukee

The organisms that we cannot see, the microorganisms, dominate biodiversity on Earth. Despite the sheer magnitude of these organisms, we know comparatively little about the diversity of microbes in most environments, how those microbes interact with their environment and each other, or how human activities alter microbial assemblages.

In the Newton lab, we study the microbial ecology of aquatic ecosystems. In particular, we focus on how human activities influence the structure and activity of microbial communities. We use a combination of field, laboratory, and computational approaches to explore the distribution and properties of microorganisms across a range of aquatic systems, including: inland lakes, wastewaters, groundwater, and aquaculture systems. In each of these systems, we investigate both microbial communities and the individuals or populations that make up those communities. Much of our work relies upon molecular and genomic techniques to gain access to the diversity of organisms present.

Check out the research page to find out more about our work.


More Flavo hunting - harbor Sept. 2023

New Study - Root River ARGs


Doctors Park in Fox Point


E. coli from local Milwaukee waterways


My Tenure Celebration!


Lou is Graduating!!


Klode Park in April


Skwor, T, D.C. Jones, C. Cahak, & R.J. Newton. 2024. First report and characterization of a plasmid-encoded blaSFO-1 in a multi-drug resistant Aeromonas hydrophila clinical isolate. Microorganisms 12(3): 494. Link

McMahon, K.D. & R.J. Newton. 2023. Pelagic Bacteria, Archaea, and Viruses in Wetzel's Limnology 4th edition. pp. 705-757. Academic Press.

Kimbell, L.K., E.L. LaMartina, S. Kohls, Y. Wang, R.J. Newton, & P.J. McNamara. 2023. Impact of corrosion inhibitors on antibiotic resistance, metal resistance, and microbial communities in drinking water. mSphere e00307-23. Link

Jones, D.C., E.L. LaMartina, J.R. Lewis, A.J. Dahl, N. Nadig, A. Szabo, R.J. Newton, & T.A. Skwor. 2023. One health and global health view of antimicrobial susceptibility through the "eye" of Aeromonas: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 62(2): 106848. Link

Scarim, G., E.L. LaMartina, K. Venkiteshwaran, D.H. Zitomer, R.J. Newton, & P.J. McNamara. 2023. An inexpensive, reproducible method to quantify activated sludge foaming potential: Validation through lab-scale studies and year-long full-scale sampling campaign. Water Environment Research 95: e10856. Link

Burch, T.R., R.J. Newton, L.K. Kimbell, E.L. LaMartina, K. O'Malley, S.M. Thomson, C.W. Marshall, & P.J. McNamara. 2022. Targeting current and future threats: recent methodological trends in environmental antimicrobial resistance research and their relationships to risk assessment. Environmental Science Water Research & Technology 8: 1787-1802. Link

Roguet, A.R., A.M. Eren, R.J. Newton, & S.L. McLellan. 2022. Guts of the urban ecosystem: Microbial ecology of sewer infrastructure. mSystems e00118-22. Link

LaMartina, E.L., A.L. Schmoldt, & R.J. Newton. 2022. Full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences from raw sewage spanning geographic and seasonal gradients in conveyance systems across the USA. Microbiology Resource Announcements e00319-22. Link

Podowski, J.C., S.F. Paver, R.J. Newton, & M.L. Coleman. 2022. Genome streamlining, proteorhodopsin, and organic nitrogen metabolism in freshwater nitrifiers. mBio e02379-21. Link

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science...”

Albert Einstein

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