Hi there, I’m Matt - I love science, sustainability, computers, and people!

I am a high-performance computing (HPC) professional currently working at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Previously, I was a Computational Specialist at Northwestern University. I consult with high-impact researchers to efficiently scale their scientific code on HPC clusters and develop applications to advance a wide variety of computational science. My love of the Earth, programming, and information technology eventually brought me to NREL, where I pride myself on leveraging my technical skillset to contribute to some of the technologies that drive the renewable energy transition. I am also very passionate about expanding and facilitating access to advanced computing, regardless of someone’s experience with HPC or their desired application. Before I became a full-time HPC professional, I also recevied a PhD from Northwestern, specializing in geomicrobiology.

My PhD research focused on understanding the microbial ecology of cave ecosystems. Specifically, I was interested in the cycling of carbon and nitrogen between and among different types of communities in lava tubes and limestone caves. I employed a combination of laboratory and computational tools to pursue this, while also being very fortunate to work in beautifully surreal ecosystems. My research record concerned topics like the flow of carbon to microbes in Mars-analog lava tubes, modeling the structure of microbial communities in caves and cenotes representing the eastern Yucatán carbonate aquifer, and recovering microbial genomes from biofilms and sediments within Mammoth Cave, KY.

If you’d ever like to chat, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!



  • 2023: PhD, Earth and Planetary Sciences (Northwestern University)
    • Dissertation: Querying Microbial Community Structure and Function in the Shallow Subsurface: Observations from Three North American Cave Systems
  • 2020: MS, Earth and Planetary Sciences (Northwestern University)
  • 2018: BS, Environmental Health Microbiology (Montana State University)



  • M Osburn, M Selensky, P Beddows, A Jacobson, K DeFranco, G Merediz-Alonso. (2023). Microbial biogeography of the eastern Yucatán carbonate aquifer, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 89(11), e01682-23. doi:10.1128/aem.01682-23
  • M Selensky, A Masterson, J Blank, S Lee, M Osburn. (2021). Stable carbon isotope depletions in lipid biomarkers suggest subsurface carbon fixation in lava caves, JGR: Biogeosciences, 126(e2021JG006430). doi:10.1029/2021JG006430
  • D Colman et al. (2021). Seasonal hydrologic and geologic forcing drive hot spring geochemistry and microbial biodiversity, Environmental Microbiology, 7(23), 4034-4053. doi:10.1111/1462-2920.15617
  • D Colman, S Poudel, T Hamilton, J Havig, M Selensky, E Shock, E Boyd. (2017). Geobiological feedbacks and the evolution of thermoacidophiles, The ISME Journal, 12, 225-236. doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.162

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