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Environmental Biotechnology

Environmental biotechnology is one of the major research thrusts in the program. These projects involve the study, design, and use of microbial processes of importance in environmental systems.

Dr. Burgos’ group is studying the ability of metal-reducing bacteria to stabilize uranium at sites with subsurface contamination.
Dr. Logan’s group is exploring the bacterial remediation of groundwatercontaminated with perchlorate, using a combination of bench and pilot-scale reactors and protein expression analyses.

Another focus of Dr. Logan’s group involves studying the factors that affect bacterial adhesion to surfaces using atomic force microscopy.

Dr. Logan also has a team developing energy-generating process including fermentative hydrogen production from wastes and electricity production from microbial fuel cells.




Dr. Regan’s students are developing molecular biology tools to rapidly enumerate nitrifying bacteria in drinking water distribution systems, providing a diagnostic tool to aid utilities. Another area of research in Dr. Regan’s group, integrated with Dr. Logan’s hydrogen technology development, involves the metabolic engineering of bacteria to increase fermentative hydrogen yields from sugars and complex substrates.


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