backResearcher Profile

Donn J. Kushner

Job Title: Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Botany
Employer: University of Toronto
Place of Birth: Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA
Public School attended: Lake Charles Grammar School
High School attended: Lake Charles High School
Further Education: Harvard (B.Sc. - Chemistry), McGill University (M.Sc. - 1950; Ph.D. - 1952).
Geographic focus of research: Ontario, USA, UK, France

Brief synopsis of current research:
Microbial physiology, especially physiology of microorganisms that live in extreme environments. This has included studies of halophilic archaebacteria and eubacteria, and interactions of bacteria, cyanobacteria, and algae with toxic heavy metals. In the past, we have studied breakdown of hydrocarbons and cellulose in laboratory conditions and in aquatic environments.

Mailing address:
Department of Botany, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5S 3B2

Recent Publications:

Hashemi, F., Leppard, G.G., and Kushner, D.J. 1994. Copper resistance in Anabaena variabilis: effects of phosphate nutrition and polyphosphate bodies. Microbial Ecol. 27: 159-176

Jin, X., Nalewajko, C., and Kushner, D.J. 1996. Comparative study of Ni toxicity to growth and photosynthesis in Ni-resistant and sensitive strains of Scenedesmus acutus f. alternans (Chlorophyceae). Microbial Ecol. 31: 103-114

Goel, U., Kauri, T., Ackermann, H. and Kushner, D.J. 1996. A moderately halophilic vibrio from a Spanish saltern, and its lytic bacteriophage. Can. J. Microbiol. 42: 1015-1023.

Jin, X., Kushner, D.J., and Nalewajko, C. 1996. Nickel uptake and release in nickel-resistant and -sensitive strains of Scenedesmus acutus f. alternans (Chlorophyceae). Environmental and Experimental Botany 36: 401-411.

Kushner, D.J., Baker, A., and Dunstall, T.G. 1999. Pharmacological uses and perspectives of heavy water and deuterated compounds. Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 77: 79-88.

Water is essential for all forms of life. Limiting its freedom -- as occurs in very salty environments, which I have studied for a number of years -- puts constraints on life, and one can only admire the mechanisms whereby certain creatures, especially bacteria, learn to overcome these constraints. Canada is blessed with abundant salt water around it and fresh water within it. It is less blessed with runoff of toxic metals from mines and with other forms of pollution. Some of my own work has played a small part in learning more about these.