I specialize in research on the biological transformation of pollutants in sediment, groundwater, and wastewater. I am particularly interested in how external environmental factors influence the biodegradation of these substances. This is of critical importance in designing and implementing biologically-based remediation systems and using microorganisms to treat wastewater efficiently. I work both in the laboratory and in the field, trying to understand the interactions between microorganisms and environmental conditions, such as electron donor type or concentration. Field work that I have been involved with has focused on implementing remediation technologies that alter environmental conditions and thereby stimulate beneficial biological activity or facilitate the enrichment, amendment, or retention of desired microorganisms.
Our current efforts are focused on:
-The role of chlorinated natural organic matter in stimulating dechlorination
-The cycling of nitrogen in oxidation ponds under conditions of low temperature and dissolved oxygen
-The development of novel materials to enrich and retain anammox bacteria
-Encapsulation for enhanced biological nutrient removal and high strength wastewater treatment