Again this year, members of the Swette Center are taking active roles in presenting at the American Society of Microbiology General Meeting in New Orleans on May 30-June 2. Zehra Esra Ilhan is giving the oral presentation "Microbiome of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band Patients: Insights into Weight Loss Post-Bariatric Surgery " at 3:30 PM on June 2 during the Integrative 'Omics Approaches in Model Human Host-Microbiome Systems session in the La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom C (Second Level). Sofia Esquivel Elizondo is presenting the poster "CO conversion to Acetate: History and Biotechnological Promise" during the poster session on May 31 at 12:30 PM.
Dr .Bruce Rittmann is playing a key role in the International Water Association's Leading Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies in Hong Kong May 30-June 3, 2015. A long-time IWA member, Dr. Rittmann is a member of the Program Committee Core Group organizing the conference. He is chairing session 4, "Integrated Chemical and Biological Treatment" on Tuesday, June 2. Dr. Rittmann is also presenting "Intimate Coupling Of Photocatalysis And Biofilm Biodegradation" during that same session. For more information, click here!
Dr. Bruce Rittmann was recently honored with an Alumni Achievement Award by Washington University in St. Louis. He earned his bachelor's and master's of science degrees in civil and environmental engineering from WashU in 1974 and a doctorate in environmental engineering from Stanford University.
The Swette Center is excited to announce the 2015-2016 Swette Undergraduate Sustainability Interns are Brendan Cahill, Jaime Lopez, and Francisco Brown-Munoz. Swette Interns perform research that focuses on using microorganisms to provide sustainable services to society. Study areas include renewable energy, improving water quality, and managing microbial communities. Brendan Cahill, who has been working as a FURI intern and volunteer for two years in the Swette Center, will be working with Dr. Bruce Rittmann and Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown on improving photobioreactor technology. A volunteer for one year, Francisco Brown-Munoz will be working with Dr. Cesar Torres to produce electricity using microbial electrochemical cells. Jaime Lopez will be working with Dr. Hinsby Cadillo-Quiroz exploring microbial communities.
Congratulations to Alex Zevin, who is graduating with his Ph.D. in the Biological Design program. Alex began his Ph.D. studies in fall of 2010, and his research has focused on interactions between Synechocystis cyanobacteria and heterotrophic microorganisms in photobioreactors. He recently defended his dissertation, "Characterization of Structure and Function of Microbial Communities in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 Photobioreactors." Alex's committee consisted of Dr. Bruce Rittmann (co-chair), Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown (co-chair), and Dr. Wim Vermass.
Cheer on Alex as he receives his degree during the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Graduate Convocation on May 13 at 2 P.M. at Wells Fargo Arena. Congrats Alex!
Here is a link to a news story that ran Thursday, May 7th and included an interview with Bruce Rittmann, Ph.D.. The story features an important consumer issue related to detergent additives that impact our environment. A laundry detergent meant for sale in Vietnam is being sold in the Valley. It contains an ingredient called tripolyphosphate that was common in the U.S. until it was eliminated in the 1990’s because of its negative effects on the environment. Such detergents put excessive phosphates in the wastewater that comes out of our homes. It gets into rivers, lakes, and reservoirs and causes eutrophication – an explosive overgrowth of algae and other aquatic plants. Such events are commonly referred to as “algal blooms.” The water becomes deep green, murky, and stinky. Organisms in the bloom compete for sun and space, and use up all of the oxygen in the water so that it is no longer available to aquatic animals. This can cause fish, shellfish, and other species to suffocate. Some of the products released into the water by the blooming algae are toxic. The detergent may be a great value to customers; but it comes at a great cost to the environment.
Congratulations to Matt Thompson, who is graduating with his Master of Science in Environmental Engineering. Matt has been a member of the Swette Center for more than two years. He started his research as an undergraduate on the photobioreactor (PBR) team. He research culminated in a thesis on coupling a PBR with a membrane filtration system to concentrate biomass for harvesting and increase overall biomass production.
Cheer on Matt as he receives his degree during the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Graduate Convocation on May 13 at 2PM at Wells Fargo Arena. Congrats Matt!
Check this short documentary, GUT FEELING about sustainable food and find out more about microbes, from soil to the gut microbiota.
As part of a documentary film class about sustainable food systems, Gut Feeling was created by students from ASU’s School of Sustainability and Cronkite School of Journalism to explore the connections between the degraded conditions of our agricultural soils and declining human health. It turns out small solutions may have a large impact.
Two Swette Center members will be presenting tomorrow, May 6, at t Arizona Water Association (AZWA)'s 88th Annual Conference and Exhibition. Mohamed Mahmound is presenting "Landfill Leachate Treatment: How to Turn Problems Into Opportunities." Steven Hart is presenting "Greener Agriculture, Healthier Forests, Cleaner Waters? Feasibility Studies for Agricultural Biochar Amendment." Check out their presentations if you're there!
Congratulations to Dongwon Ki, who was awarded a travel scholarship by ASU's Graduate and Professional Student Association. In June, Ki will be attending the Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors (AEESP)'s annual conference at Yale University, where he will be presenting a poster on using microbial electrochemical cells to remediate primary sludge.