Faculty Profile for Dr. Bob McLean

profile photo for Dr. Bob McLean
Dr. Bob McLean
Regents' Professor — Biology
Ingram 5005
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, 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. His work focuses mainly on bacterial communities on surfaces (biofilms), and more recently microbial interactions during mixed species growth. He has published over 85 papers, edited two books, 12 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.

Research Interests

1) Bacterial growth on surfaces as biofilms
2) Microbial interactions in mixed biofilm and planktonic growth
3) 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.
  • Zhang, B., Zhuang, X., Gao, L., McLean, R. J. C., & Chu, W. (2019). Recombinant AHL-lactonase AiiAQSI-1 attenuates Aeromonas hydrophila virulence factors, biofilm formation and reduces mortality in Crucian Carp. Marine Drugs, 17, 499. https://doi.org/doi:10.3390/md17090499
  • Yang, J., Thornhill, S. G., Barrila, J., Nickerson, C. A., Ott, C. M., & McLean, R. J. C. (2018). Microbiology of the Built Environment in Spacecraft Used for Human Flight. In Methods in Microbiology. New York: Elsevier Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.mim.2018.07.002
  • Thornhill, S. G., & McLean, R. J. C. (2018). Use of Whole-Cell Bioassays for Screening Quorum Signaling, Quorum Interference, and Biofilm Dispersion. In Quorum sensing methods and protocols (Vol. 1673, pp. 3–24). Clifton, N.J.: Springer Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7309-5_1
  • Thornhill, S. G., Kumar, M., Vega, L. M., & McLean, R. J. C. (2017). Cadmium ion inhibition of quorum signalling in Chromobacterium violaceum. Microbiology (Reading, England), 163(10), 1429–1435. https://doi.org/10.1099/mic.0.000531

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

  • McLean, Robert J C, Barnes, P. Scanning UV/Vis Spectrophotometer, USDA, $750019. (Funded: 1994). 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.
  • Yang, Jiseon (Principal), McLean, Robert J C (Supporting). Microbial social behavior and heritable genetic or epigenetic changes affected by the spaceflight environment: Understanding the evolution of microbial interactions during spaceflight, NASA, Federal. (Funded: September 1, 2019 - August 31, 2022). Grant.
  • McLean, Robert J C (Principal), Nickerson, Cheryl A (Co-Principal), Barrila, J A (Supporting), Ott, C M (Supporting). Polymicrobial biofilm growth and control during spaceflight, NASA, Federal, $600000. (Funded: December 2016 - December 2020). Grant.
  • Walter, RB (Principal), McLean, Robert J C (Supporting). Bridges to Biomedicine, NIH, Federal, $308453. (Funded: 2014 - 2018). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

Institutional Biosafety Committee
Budget Committee
Editorial Review Board Member
Geomicrobiology Journal
Personnel Committee
Faculty Search Committees