Dr. Alison Cupples, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University
November 20, 2019
4pm in Brooks 203
The remediation of environmental contaminants remains an ongoing challenge to environmental engineers and scientists. Legacy pollutants, such as the chlorinated solvents, explosives, 1,4-dioxane, MTBE and BTEX are still common pollutants at many sites across the US. This presentation will discuss the application of molecular microbiology to understand the susceptibility of these legacy contaminants to microbial biodegradation. Specifically, research will be presented concerning the use of stable isotope probing to identify the microorganisms able to degrade legacy contaminants (chlorinated solvents, RDX, toluene, MTBE). Additionally, research on the development of a rapid and inexpensive method (loop mediated isothermal amplification, LAMP) to quantify the key microorganisms (Dehalococcoides) responsible for chlorinated solvent remediation will be presented. The presentation will also discuss the susceptibility of 1,4-dioxane to aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation, as well as the putative microorganisms involved.