Sandra Mclellan

School of Freshwater Sciences



PhD, Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, 1998
BS, Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1990

Research Interests

The major research focus of my laboratory is to investigate the connections between environmental processes and human health. Urban coastal areas are greatly impacted by pollution sources including stormwater runoff and sewage overflows. Oftentimes, pathogens are present that can contaminate our beaches and drinking water supplies. The overall goal of our research is understand pathogen fate in large freshwater systems such as the Great Lakes, and develop new approaches for assessing pollution sources so that strategies can be devised to protect the Great Lakes and human health.

Recent and Selected Publications
Fisher JC, Eren AM, Green HC, Shanks OC, Morrison HG, Vineis JH, Sogin ML, McLellan SL. 2015. Comparison of the microbiomes of sewage and animal feces by oligotyping reveals potential human fecal indicators in multiple taxonomic groups. Appl Environ Microbiol. 81(20):7023-7033.

Danielle DC, Alm EW, McLellan SL. 2015. The influence of land-use, nutrients, and geography on microbial communities and fecal indicator abundance at Lake Michigan beaches. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 81(15):4904-4913.

Newton RJ, McLellan SL, Dila DK, Vineis JH, Morrison HG, Eren AM, Sogin ML. 2015. Sewage reflects the microbiomes of human populations. mBio 6(2):e02574-14.

Fisher JC, Levican A, Figueras MJ, McLellan SL. 2014. Population dynamics and ecology of Arcobacter in sewage. Frontiers in Microbiology 5:525.

McLellan, S.L. and A.M. Eren. 2014. Discovering new indicators of fecal pollution. Trends in microbiology. 22(12):697-706.

Koskey A.M., J.C. Fisher, A.M. Eren, R.P. Terashima, M.G. Reis, R.E. Blanton and S.L. McLellan. 2014. Blautia and Prevotella sequences distinguish human and animal fecal pollution in Brazil surface waters. Environmental Microbiology Reports. 6(6):696-704.

Eren A.M., M.L. Sogin, H.G. Morrison, J.H. Vineis, J.C. Fisher, R.J. Newton and S.L. McLellan. 2014. A single genus in the gut microbiome reflects host preference and specificity. The ISME journal 9:90-100.

Koskey A.M., J.C. Fisher, M.F. Traudt, R.J. Newton, and S.L. McLellan. 2014. Analysis of gull fecal microbial community reveals dominance of Catellicoccus marimammalium in relation to culturable enterococci Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 80(2):757-765

Newton R.J., Huse S.M., Morrison H.G., Peake C.S., Sogin M.L., S.L. McLellan. 2013. Shifts in the Microbial Community Composition of Gulf Coast Beaches Following Beach Oiling PLoS ONE 8(9): e74265. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074265

Newton, R.J., M.J. Bootsma, H.G. Morrison, M.L. Sogin, S.L. McLellan. 2013. A Microbial Signature Approach to Identify Fecal Pollution in the Waters Off an Urbanized Coast of Lake Michigan Microb Ecol 65:1011–1023

McLellan, S.L., R.J. Newton, J.L. VandeWalle, O.C. Shanks, S.M. Huse, A.M. Eren and M.L. Sogin. 2013. Sewage reflects the distribution of human fecal Lachnospiraceae Environ. Microbiol. 15(8):2213–2227

Shanks, OC., R.J. Newton, C.A. Kelty, S.M. Huse, M.L. Sogin and S.L. McLellan. 2013. Comparison of microbial community structure in untreated wastewater from different geographic locales Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 79(9):2906-2913

VandeWalle, J.L., G.W. Goetz, S.M. Huse, E.N. Andreishcheva, M.L. Sogin, and S.L. McLellan. 2012. Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, and Trichococcus dominate the microbial community within urban sewer infrastructure Environ. Microbiol. 14(9):2538-2552

Newton R.J., J.L. Vandewalle, M.A. Borchardt, M.H. Gorelick, S.L. McLellan. 2011. Lachnospiraceae and Bacteroidales alternative fecal indicators reveal chronic human sewage contamination in an urban harbor Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77:6972-81. PMID: 21803887

Sauer E.P., J.L. Vandewalle M.J. Bootsma, S.L. McLellan. 2011. Detection of the human specific Bacteroides genetic marker provides evidence of widespread sewage contamination of stormwater in the urban environment Water Research 45:4081-91. PMID:21689838

Mueller-Spitz S.R., L.B. Stewart, J.V. Klump and S.L. McLellan. 2010. Freshwater suspended sediments and sewage are reservoirs for enterotoxin positive Clostridium perfringens Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76(16)5556-62. PMCID: PMC2918953

McLellan, S.L., S.M. Huse, S.R. Mueller-Spitz, E.N. Andreishcheva, and M.L. Sogin. 2010. Diversity and population structure of sewage derived microorganisms in wastewater treatment plant influent Environ. Microbiol. 12: 378-392. PMCID: PMC2868101

Drayna, P., S.L. McLellan, P. Simpson, S.H. Li, M.H. Gorelick. 2010. Association between rainfall and pediatric emergency department visits for acute gastrointestinal illness Environmental Health Perspectives. 118(10):1439-43. PMID20515725

Please click here for a complete list of publications. 

Bacterial genetics, fecal pollution, fate and transport of bacteria, pathogens in the environment, beach closings