Martha W.   Rhodes

Marine Scientist Supervisor

Email: [[martha]]
Phone: (804) 684-7311
Office: Chesapeake Bay Hall N212
Department: Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health

  • B.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • M.S. Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University
Research Interests

My research interests focus primarily on public health microbiology as it relates to the estuarine environment. Areas of emphasis are the ecology of autochthonous bacteria and viruses in estuarine waters and evaluation of new alternative bacterial and viral predictors of enteric pollution. Studies include shellfish microbiology, nonpoint fecal pollution and assessment of recreational beach water quality.

A second area of focus is the study of mycobacteriosis and other bacterial pathogens in Chesapeake Bay striped bass, Morone saxatilis. Research includes determining disease distribution and prevalence, methods for pathogen detection, isolate characterization, assessment of virulence, and related human health concerns.

Current and Recent Projects
  • Uptake and elimination of norovirus, FRNA coliphage and Escherichia coli from relayed hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) and oysters (Crassostrea virginica) naturally-contaminated in Hampton Roads, Virginia
  • Comparing microbiological characteristics of Crassostrea ariakensis and  C. virginica with respect to uptake and elimination of bacterial and viral pathogens
  • Advanced ecological and indicator/pathogen methods beach study
  • Mycobacteriosis in striped bass
Selected Publications
Gauthier, D. T. and M. W. Rhodes. 2009. Mycobacteriosis in fish: A review. The Vet. J. 180:33-47.

Gauthier, D. T., W. K. Vogelbein, M. W. Rhodes, and K. S. Reece. 2008.  Nested PCR assay for detection for Mycobacterium shottsii and Mycobacterium pseudoshottsii in striped bass (Morone saxatilis).  J. Aquat. Anim. Hlth. 20:192-201.

Yip, M. J. , J. L. Porter, J. A. M. Fyfe, C. J. Lavender, F. Portaels, M. W. Rhodes, H. Kator, A. Colorni, G. A. Jenkin, and T. Stinear. 2007.  Evolution of Mycobacterium ulcerans and other mycolactone-producing mycobacteria from a common Mycobacterium marinum progenitor. J. Bacteriol. 189:2021-2029.

C. A. Ottinger, J. J. Brown, C. L. Densmore, C. E. Starliper, V. S. Blazer, H. S. Weyers, K. A. Beauchamp, M. W. Rhodes, H. Kator, D.T. Gauthier, and W. K. Vogelbein.  2007.  Mycobacterial infections in striped bass (Morone saxatilis) from Delaware Bay.  J. Aquatic Animal Health. 19:99-108.

Ranger, B. S., E. A., Mahrous, L. Mosi, S. Adusumilli, R. E. Lee, A. Colorni, M. Rhodes, P. L. C. Small. 2006. Globally distributed mycobacterial fish pathogens produce a novel plasmid-encoded toxic macrolide, mycolactone F. Infect. Immun. 74:6037-6045.

Kaattari, I., M. W. Rhodes, S. L. Kaattari, and E. B. Shotts.  2006. The evolving story of Mycobacterium tuberculosis clade members detected in fish. J. Fish. Dis. 29:509-520.

Rhodes, M. W., H. Kator,  A. McNabb,  C. Deshayes,  J.-M. Reyrat,  B. A. Brown-Elliott, R. Wallace,  K. A. Trott, J. M. Parker,  B. D. Lifland,  G. Osterhout, I. Kaattari, K. Reece, W. K. Vogelbein, and C. A. Ottinger. 2005. Mycobacterium pseudoshottsii sp. nov., a slowly growing chromogenic species isolated from Chesapeake Bay striped bass (Morone saxatilis). Int, J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 55:1139-1147.

Kaattari, I., M. W. Rhodes, H. Kator, and S. L. Kaattari. 2005. Comparative analysis of mycobacterial infections in wild striped bass Morone saxatilis from Chesapeake Bay. Dis. Aquat. Org. 67:125-132.

Rhodes, M. W., Kator, H., Kaattari, I., Gauthier, D., Vogelbein, W., Ottinger, C. A. 2004. Isolation and characterization of mycobacteria from striped bass Morone saxatilis from the Chesapeake Bay.  Dis. Aquat. Org. 61:41-51.

Rhodes, M. W., H. Kator, S. Kotob, P. van Berkum, I. Kaattari, W. Vogelbein, F.Quinn, M. M. Floyd, W. R. Butler, C. A. Ottinger.  2003.  Mycobacterium shottsii sp. nov., a slowly growing species isolated from Chesapeake Bay striped bass (Morone saxatilis).  Int. J. Sys. Evol. Microbiol.  Int, J. System. Evol. Microbiol. 53:421-424.

Kator, H. and M. W. Rhodes.  2003.  Detection, enumeration and identification of environmental microorganisms of public health significance.  In: M. Duncan and N. Horan (eds.),  Handbook of Water and Wastewater Microbiology, Academic Press, New York, pp.113-144.

Rhodes, M. W., H. Kator., S. Kotob, P. van Berkum, I. Kaattari, W. Vogelbein, M. M. Floyd, W. R. Butler, F. D. Quinn, C. Ottinger, and E. Shotts.  2001 .  A unique Mycobacterium species isolated from an epizootic of striped bass (Morone saxatilis).   Emerging Infectious Disease 7:896-899.

Kator, H. and M. W. Rhodes.  2001.  Elimination of fecal coliforms and F-specific RNA coliphage from oysters (Crassostrea virginica) relaid in floating containers. J. Food Protection 64:796-801.

Rhodes, M. W. and H. Kator.  1999. Sorbitol-fermenting bifidobacteria as indicators of diffuse human faecal pollution in estuarine watersheds. J. Appl. Microbiol. 87: 528-535.

Vogelbein, W., D. E. Zwerner, H. Kator, M. Rhodes, and J. Cardinal.  1998.  Mycobacteriosis in the striped bass, Morone saxatilis, from Chesapeake Bay. Virginia Marine Resources Commission Report.  

Vogelbein, W., D. E. Zwerner, H. Kator, M. Rhodes, S. Kotob and M. Faisal.  1998.  Mycobacteriosis in striped bass, Morone saxatilis, from Chesapeake Bay.  Third International Symposium on Aquatic Animal Health.  August 30-September 3, 1998, Baltimore, Maryland.

Rhodes, M. W. and H. Kator.  1997.  Enumeration of Enterococcuss sp.using a modified mEmethod. J. Applied Microbiol. 83: 120-126.

Rhodes, M. W. and H. Kator.  1994.  Seasonal occurrence of mesophilic Aeromonas spp. as a function of biotype and water quality in temperate freshwater lakes.  Wat. Res. 28:2241-2251.

Kator. H. and M. W. Rhodes.  1994.  Microbial and chemical indicators.  In:  C. Hackney and M. D. Pierson, (eds.) Environmental Indicators and Shellfish Safety, Van Nostrand Reinhold Chapman and Hall Publishers, New York and London, pp. 30-91.

Kator, H. and Rhodes, M. W. 1991. Indicators and alternate indicators of growing water quality. In: D. R. Ward and C. R. Hackney (eds.) Microbiology of Marine Food Products, pp.135-196. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.