Hazel Barton


Non Forest Service

Photo of Hazel Barton wearing a helmet with a flashlight.

Dr. Barton was the star of “Journey into Amazing Caves” the IMAX film on caves and exploration. Dr. Barton’s research is geared toward understanding microbial interactions and adaptations to nutrient-limitation, as experienced by ecosystems in deep subsurface cave environments (see Dr. Barton’s cave science site). This work has been funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and US National Park Service.

The other research in the lab aims to understand the ecology and evolution of the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the causative agent of the White-nose Syndrome epidemic in bats. This research is funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Barton Lab has been recognized as one of the “top ten most awesome research labs” by Popular Science magazine. Dr. Barton is also an avid caver, having explored caves on five continents, is a past director of the National Speleological Society (NSS), the Quintana Roo Speleological Survey, and an award-winning cave cartographer. Her cave research has been featured in Sports Illustrated, Forbes, National Geographic Explorer, Outside, Science News, The Scientist, Popular Mechanics, Wired, Geo and The Smithsonian magazines, in the book Extreme Scientists: Exploring Natures Mysteries from Perilous Places, on NPR and BBC Radio, on Animal Planet, the History Channel, the CBS Early Show, BBC TV and in the IMAX movie Journey into Amazing Caves.

Dr. Barton is currently a Fellow of the National Speleological Society, a Kavli Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, Chair of the Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology for the American Society for Microbiology, and the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award.

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