Dave Cummings, Ph.D.

  • ProfessorQuetzal Education Research Center

Contact Info:


Dr. David Cummings is a microbiologist with experience in microbial ecology, microbial physiology, and microbial genomics. At QERC, Dr. Cummings teaches the microbiology module of Tropical Ecology and Sustainability. At Point Loma Nazarene University, he teaches microbiology, Introductory Cell Biology and Biochemistry as well as Neotropical Ecology, which wraps up with a two-week excursion to the rain and cloud forests of Costa Rica. His research is focused on the ways bacteria can share genetic information, especially information that makes them less susceptible to antibiotics and better suited to cause disease. Dr. Cummings lives in San Diego with his wife Ann and their three teenagers, Sydney, Ryan, and Josh.

Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Idaho
B.A., English Literature, Point Loma Nazarene College (PLNU)
Professor at Point Loma Nazarene University since 2004

Notable Accomplishments

Post-doctoral fellow, Idaho National Laboratory, 2000-2004
Active research program at PLNU since 2004

Notable Publications

Botts, R. T., B. A. Apffel, C. J. Walters, K. E. Davidson, R. S. Echols, M. R. Geiger, V. L. Guzman, V. S. Haase, M. A. Montana, C. A. La Chat, J. A. Mielke, K. L. Mullen, C. C. Virtue, C. J. Brown, E. M. Top, and D. E. Cummings. 2017. Characterization of four multidrug resistance plasmids captured from the sediments of an urban coastal wetland. Front. Microbiol. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01922.

Borgogna, T. R., J.-L. Borgogna, J. A. Mielke, C. J. Brown, E. M. Top, R. T. Botts, and D. E. Cummings (2016). High Diversity of CTX-M Extended-Spectrum β-lactamases in Municipal Wastewater Urban Wetlands. Microb. Drug Resist. 22:312-320.

Cummings, D. E., K. F. Archer, D. J. Arriola, P. A. Baker, K. G. Faucett, J. B. Laroya, K. L. Pfeil, C. R. Ryan, K. R. U. Ryan, and D. E. Zuill (2011). Broad Dissemination of Plasmid-Mediated Quinolone Resistance Genes in Sediments of Two Urban Coastal Wetlands. Environmental Science & Technology. 45:447-454.

Magnuson, T. S., M. W. Swenson, A. J. Paszczynski, L. A. Deobald, D. Kerk, and D. E. Cummings (2010). Proteogenomic and Functional Analysis of Chromate Reduction in Acidiphilium Cryptum JF-5, an Fe(III)-Respiring Acidophile. BioMetals. 23:1129-1138.

Cummings, D. E., A. E. Zimmerman, K. R. Unruh, and S. Spring (2010). Influence of Microbially Reducible Fe(III) on the Bacterial Community Structure of Estuarine Surface Sediments. Geomicrobiology. J. 27:292-302.

Boyd, E. S., D. E. Cummings, and G. G. Geesey (2007). Mineralogy Influences Structure and Composition of Bacterial Communities Associated with Geological Substrata in a Pristine Aquifer. Microbial Ecology. 54:170-182.

See More Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications


Mentoring Point Loma Nazarene University student researchers, 2004 – present
External manuscript reviewer for numerous scientific journals, 2004 – present
External grant proposal reviewer for the National Science Foundation, periodically, 2004 – present
Member of the American Society for Microbiology, 1997 – present

Summary of Interests

Microbial ecology
Wetland microbiology
Infectious diseases
The biology and psychology of stress and anxiety
Fly fishing, hiking, camping