Edward Birge

Associate Professor


Edward Birge is a bacterial geneticist whose research interests were the genetics of Escherichia coli and its viruses. He is no longer active in that field but is the author of the textbook Bacterial and Bacteriophage Genetics, which went through five editions. He also wrote an introductory microbiology text entitled Modern Microbiology.

As an active faculty member at Arizona State University, he taught the introductory microbiology lecture and laboratory classes, the bacterial genetics classes, and was chair of the Microbiology Department from 1991-2003. At the present time, he is living in Yakima, Washington where he tends two acres of wine grapes and makes an occasional small batch of wine.


  • PhD in Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1971
  • BA in Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1965

Research Interests

Bacterial and molecular genetics.

Professional Associations

  • AAAS
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Arizona Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (Secretary-Treasurer, 1983-1987, 1990- 2003)

Graduate Faculties / Mentoring History


  • Chiquita Rollins (MS 1975) Later received PhD from University of Oregon. Now an administrator in the Multnomah County Oregon Family Services Department
  • Paul Hicock (MS) Associate Professor of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Diane Apostolakos (MS) Preparing for residency after completing medical program at the University of Guadalajara
  • Dennis Lye (PhD 1980) Associate Professor at University of Northern Kentucky.
  • Candace Coffin (PhD 1982) Presently a Professor at Briar Cliff College, Sioux City, Iowa
  • Lori Pearce (MS 1983) Teaching 5th and 6th-grade science for Phoenix Elementary School District
  • Ray Piott (MS) Present status unknown
  • Vicki Bess (MS 1985) Proprietor, BBC Labs, Tempe
  • Karl Kvistberg (PhD.1987) Faculty member at Nicolet Technical College in Rhinelander, WI
  • Gary Cage (MS 1991) Arizona State Health Department Laboratory
  • Mary Puglia (PhD 2000) Professor, Central Arizona College
  • John Wertz (PhD 2000) Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Biology, Yale University

Work History

September 2004-   Adjunct Biology faculty member Yakima Valley Community College
April 2012

July, 1991-2003    Chair, Department of Microbiology, Arizona State University

Fall, 1989-             Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Microbiology, Arizona

June, 1990             State University

Fall, 1986              Acting director, Microbiology Program, Arizona State University

Spring 1982          Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Visiting Associate Professor.

1977- 2004            Department of Botany and Microbiology, Arizona State University.  Associate Professor of Microbiology.

1974-77                 Director, Microbiology Program, Arizona State University.

1972-77                 Department of Botany and Microbiology, Assistant Professor of Microbiology.

1971-72                 Radiobiology Laboratory, Yale University Medical School, New Haven.  NIH Postdoctoral Fellow.

1970-71                 Radiobiology Laboratory, Yale University Medical School, New Haven.  NIH Postdoctoral Trainee.

1966-70                 Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Research Assistant and Predoctoral Fellow.

1964-66                 Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Teaching Assistant.