College of Science & Engineering
These researchers study microbial communities in a variety of systems (wastewater, sediment) and their ability to degrade compounds. Their work has focused on the bioremediation of chlorinated compounds, removal of estrogens in wastewater, and the development of technology to recover hydrogen (energy) from wastewater. The main two projects using MSI are studying the role of organohalide respiring bacteria in uncontaminated systems and the changes in community that occur when operating waste treatment reactors in different configurations.
In the first project, the growth of bacteria from sediment is monitored to determine which organohalide respiring bacteria are being enriched for with chlorinated natural organic matter. Metagenomics will be conducted to determine if new reductive dehalogenase genes are being used for the reductive dehalogenation of chlorinated natural organic matter.
In the second project, an anaerobic membrane bioreactor community (no cell washout) is compared to that in a reactor containing encapsulated communities. The links between reactor configuration, community structure, and performance are being determined.