Faculty Profile for Dr. Robert McLean

profile photo for Dr. Robert McLean
Dr. Robert McLean
Regents' Professor — Biology
IGRM 364
phone: (512) 245-3365

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Dr. RJC (Bob) McLean was born in Toronto ON and grew up in rural southwestern Ontario, Canada. He did his undergraduate degree (BSc in Microbiology, 1978) at the University of Guelph and after working for 3 1/2 years in the food industry and half a year as a research technician, pursued his PhD with JW Costerton at the University of Calgary (PhD microbiology 1986). He returned to Guelph ON and did a postdoc with TJ Beveridge from 1986-1988. Bob met his wife, Martha in Guelph and after they got married in 1988, they moved to Kingston ON, where Bob started his academic career in microbiology with a research faculty position at Queen's University from 1988-1993. Their two sons, Malcolm and Alistair, were born during this time. In 1993, Bob accepted a faculty position at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and rose through the ranks from Assistant Professor to Professor. In 2012, Bob was named a University Distinguished Professor and then a Regents' Professor. In 2021, Bob was elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology. His work focuses mainly on bacterial communities on surfaces (biofilms), and more recently microbial interactions during mixed species growth. He has published over 90 papers, edited two books, 13 book chapters, and co-authored a textbook on microbial ecology. He has received external research funding from EPA, NIH, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and most recently NASA.

Teaching Interests

Microbiology including introductory and advanced microbiology (Microbial Physiology, and Microbial Ecology).

Research Interests

1) Bacterial growth on surfaces as biofilms
2) Spaceflight microbiology
3) Microbial interactions in mixed biofilm and planktonic growth
4) Microbial impacts with geology in both rock formation and rock weathering

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Barton, L. L., & McLean, R. J. C. (2019). Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology. Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Yang, J., Barrila, J., Ott, C. M., King, O., Bruce, R., McLean, R. J. C., & Nickerson, C. A. (2021). Longitudinal characterization of multispecies microbial populations recovered from spaceflight potable water. Npj Biofilms Microbiomes, 7, 70. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41522-021-00240-5
  • McLean, R. J. C., & Brown, E. T. (2020). Potential Influences of Bacterial Cell Surfaces and Nano-Sized Cell Fragments on Struvite Biomineralization. Crystals, 10(8), 706. https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10080706
  • Zea, L., McLean, R. J. C., Rook, T. A., Angle, G., Carter, D. L., Delegard, A., … Velez Justiniano, Y. A. (2020). Potential biofilm control strategies for extended spaceflight missions. Biofilm, 2, 100026. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bioflm.2020.100026
  • Zhu, W., Zhou, S., Chu, J., McLean, R. J. C., & Chu, W. (2020). Prebiotic, immuno-stimulating and gut microbiota-modulating effects of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide. Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, 121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109591

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Favorite Professor, Alpha Chi National Honor Society. November 6, 2018
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Honorary Membership, Phi Mu Alpha. 2014
  • Award / Honor Nominee: Nominee: Carski Award (National Teaching Award), American Society for Microbiology. 2012
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Regents’ Professor, Texas State University. 2012
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Texas ASM Branch Nominee: Carski Award for Microbiology Teaching. 2012

Selected Grants

  • Lewis, Karen A (Principal), Kerwin, Sean Michael (Co-Principal), McLean, Robert J C (Co-Principal), Chang, Carolyn T (Supporting), David, Wendi M (Supporting). U-RISE at Texas State, National Institutes of Health - National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Federal, $2238578. (Funded: April 1, 2021 - March 31, 2026). Grant.
  • Shi, Xijun (Principal), McLean, Robert (Co-Principal). NASA MINDS: Alternative Materials for Lunar and Martian Construction, NASA, Federal, $2500. (Funded: December 15, 2020 - April 30, 2021). Grant.
  • McLean, Robert J C, Barnes, P. Scanning UV/Vis Spectrophotometer, USDA, $750019. (Funded: 1994). Grant.
  • McLean, Robert J C (Principal). Polymicrobial Biofilm Growth and Control during Spaceflight - year 5 supplement, NASA, Federal, $288905. (Funded: December 5, 2020 - August 31, 2022). Grant.
  • McLean, Robert J C. Polymicrobial biofilm growth and control during spaceflight - supplemental funding, NASA, Federal, $58614. (Funded: January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
January 2022-2023
Budget Committee
Editorial Review Board Member
Geomicrobiology Journal
Personnel Committee
Faculty Search Committees