Song Home Page

Bongkeun Song

Clark & Elizabeth Diamond Professor

Email: [[v|songb]]
Phone: (804) 684-7411
Office: Andrews Hall 328
Department: Biological Sciences
Interests: Microbiome ecology and biogeochemistry
Fax: (804) 684-7399

  • B.S., Agriculture Biology, Dongguk University, Seoul, Korea, 1994
  • M.S., Environmental Science, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1997
  • Ph.D., Environmental Science, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2000
Research Interests

My research focuses to understand the fundamental roles of microbiomes in biogeochemical carbon and nitrogen cycles, microplastic pollution, and marine organismal health. I have employed various techniques in isotope biogeochemistry, metagenomics, and bioinformatics to examine microbiome parameters, including abundance, composition, diversity, and activities in environmental samples and marine invertebrates. In addition, Raman microspectroscopy has been used to identify and quantify microplastics in water samples.

Current Projects
  • Cryptic nitrogen cycling in the anoxic subterranean estuary (funded by NSF Chemical Oceanography)
  • Alteration of carbon fluxes by intense phytoplankton blooms in a microtidal estuary (funded by NSF Biological Oceanography)
  • Enhancing commercial sustainability in the hatchery production of eastern oysters and clams (funded by NOAA Sea Grant)
  • Estuarine dam removal as an ecosystem disturbance: Examining the impacts of seawater intrusion on functional stability of benthic N cycle communities (funded by NSF Division of Environmental Biology)
  • Elucidating the occurrence of known and emerging chemical contaminants in wastewater biosolids and the influence of treatment and management processes on their fate, mobility and bioavailability (funded by EPA)
  • A Decision-Support Model for Computing Sediment and Nutrient Removals from Living Shoreline Restoration in the Lower Chesapeake Bay (funded by Honda Marine Science Foundation)
Selected Publications
  1. Fortin, S., B. Song, I. Anderson (2021) Microbially mediated nitrogen removal and retention in the York River Estuary, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 97, fiab118.
  2. Wilson, S., B. Song, R. Phillips (2021) Determining chemical factors controlling abiotic codenitrification. ACS Earth and Space Chemistry, 5:186-196,
  3. Arfken, A., B. Song, S. Allen, R. Carnegie (2021) Comparing larval microbiomes of the eastern oyster (Crassostra virginia) raised in different hatcheries. Aquacultures, 531, 735955.
  4. Semedo, M., L. Wittorf, S. Hallin, B. Song (2020) Differential expression of clade I and II N2O reductase genes in denitrifying bacterium Thauera linaloolentis 47LolT under different nitrogen conditions. FEMS Microbiology Letters, fnaa205,
  5. Hale, R. C., Song (2020) Single-use plastics and COVID-19: scientific evidence and environmental regulations, Environmental Science & Technology, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.0c02269.
  6. Seeley, M. E., Song, R. Passie, R. C. Hale (2020) Microplastics affect sedimentary microbial communities and nitrogen cycling, Nature Communication, 11:2372,
  7. Park, Y., J. Cha, Song, H. Yan, S. Kim, S. Kim, E. Jo, S. Fortin, S. An (2020) Total microbial activity and sulfur cycling microbe changes in response to the development of hypoxia in a shallow estuary, Ocean Science Journal, 55: 165-181.
  8. Semedo, M., Song (2020) From genes to nitrogen removal: determining the impacts of poultry industry wastewater on tidal creek denitrification, Environmental Science & Technology, 54: 146-157.
  9. Fortin, S., Song, C. Burbage (2019) Quantifying and identifying microplastics in the effluent of advanced wastewater treatment systems using Raman micrometric. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 149, 110579.
  10. Smith, R. L., D. A. Repert, D. L. Stoliker, D. B. Kent, Song, D. R. LeBlanc, T. D. McCobb, J. K. Böhlke, S. P. Hyn and H. S. Moon (2019) Seasonal and spatial variation in the location and reactivity of a nitrate-contaminated groundwater discharge zone in a lakebed. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 124,
  11. Yoon, S. Song, R. L. Phillips, J. Chang and M. J. Song (2019) Ecological and physiological implications of nitrogen oxide reduction pathways on greenhouse gas emissions in agroecosystems. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 95: fiz066.
  12. Han, H., Song and S. Yoon (2019) Salt and alkaline stresses disrupt nitrous oxide balance in the denitrification pathway in Dechloromonas aromatic strain RCB. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10: 1203.
  13. Murphy, A. E., R, Kolkmeyer, Song, I. C. Anderson and J. Bowen (2019) Bioreactivity and microbiome of biodeposits from filter feeding bivalves. Microbial Ecology, 77: 343–357.
  14. Hong, Y., J. W, S. Wilson and Song (2019) Vertical stratification of sediment microbial communities along geochemical gradients of a subterranean estuary located at the Gloucester beach of Virginia, USA. Frontiers in Microbiology,
  15. Semedo, M., Song, T. Sparrer and R. L. Phillips (2018) Antibiotic effects on microbial communities responsible for denitrification and N2O production in grassland soils. Frontiers in Microbiology 9:2121. Doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02121.