Why are you interested in environmental water?

Some of the most urgent global challenges are around the sustainability of water provision. With such as high percentage of the worlds water unusable, for example in oceans, biological methods for desalination can offer natural solutions. The field of water environment brings together such a variety of projects that are able to combine multidisciplinary approaches through specific tools or applications. This means the potential for using process engineering combined with post-genomic, proteomic and synthetic biology can realistically deliver technical advances in water research that can be implemented by water industry.

What types of projects are you involved in?

I work on many projects which focus on technology and tools to study and engineer biological processes in the urban water environment. One of these is looking at how to exploit the massive potential of biofilms. These biofilms exist everywhere, so we are looking at ways to control them in urban water environments by linking the environmental cues with biological drivers. Other projects are looking at ways to harness the natural activity of organisms to reduce the high energy demand of current desalination methods and development of bioprocesses that provide efficient treatment of domestic wastewater.