Former Members

Post-Doctoral Researchers Supervised

Former PhD Students

MS Students Graduated (with thesis)

M.S. Students Graduated

Former Group Pictures (and Animations ♥)

Post-Doctoral Researchers Supervised

Name Work Period Research Topic Placement Photo

Xavier Fonoll Almansa


Anaerobic digestion of lignocellulosics and other biomass streams

Great Lakes Water Authority

Yun Shen


Opportunistic bacterial pathogens in drinking water aerosols

Research Assistant Professor, George Washington University

Sarah-Jane Haig


Linkages between drinking water and human microbiomes

Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Xunchang Fei 09/2015-09/2016 Experimental assessment of coupled physical-hydro-biochemical-mechanical processes of municipal solid waste degradation Postdoctoral Fellow, Santamarina Group, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Xunchang Fei
Gamze Gulez 05/13-07/13 Linkages between drinking water and human microbiomes    
Ling Cao 01/12 – 07/13 Life cycle assessment (LCA) of aquaculture systems Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford University


Giridhar Upahyaya 09/10 -08/12 Microbiologically mediated removal of multiple contaminants from drinking water Research Engineer, Carollo Engineers, Sarosota, FL


Ameet Pinto 08/09 -06/12 Microbial community analyses of drinking water treatment plants Assistant Professor, University of Glasgow


Wendell Khunjar (co-advised with N. Love) 12/09 -09/10 Structural Diversity and Functional Resilience to Stress in Ammonia Oxidizers Hazen and Sawyer P.C., Fairfax, VA


Diane Holder 12/05 -01/09 Biofilms in drinking water distribution systems Researcher USDA  
Aurelio Briones 06/02-12/08 Anaerobic biological treatment of high sulfate waste streams – microbial ecology of rice paddies – Sustainable aquaculture Assistant Professor, University of Idaho  
Chuanwu Xi 011/01-08/04 Use of molecular beacons in microfluidic devices – biological perchlorate removal from drinking water Assistant Professor, University of Michigan  
Jennifer Crawford Simmons 01/97-01/04 Herbicide fate in anaerobic soils – Biological hydrogen production Stay-at-home mother  
Largus Angenent 08/98-12/00 Biological treatment of animal waste Associate Professor, CornellUniversity  
Krassimira Hristova 1/98-12/99 Development of solution based hybridization techniques Assistant Professor, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI  
Margit Mau 11/97-06/99 Development of solution based hybridization techniques Assistant Professor, Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany  
Elizabeth Wheeler-Alm 08/94-06/96 Molecular microbial ecology in soil environments Professor, CentralMichiganUniversity  

Former PhD Students

Name Graduated Dissertation Title Placement Photo

Caroline Van Steendam (co-advised with S. Skerlos and I. Smets)


Advancing Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors for Low Temperature Domestic Wastewater Treatment

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan

Núria Zamorano-López (Microbial ecology analysis of anaerobic digesters.)  
Nadine Kotlarz 05/17 Factors of Full-scale Drinking Water Systems that Contribute to Risk of Opportunistic Infectious Disease Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University Kotlarz_photo
Tara Clancy 01/15 Biogeochemical evaluation of disposal options for arsenic-bearing wastes generated during drinking water treatment Postdoctoral Associate, Soil and Crop Sciences, Cornell University Clancy_photo
Adam Smith 08/14 Treatment of domestic wastewater with anaerobic membrane bioreactors Assistant Professor, Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Southern California
Adam Smith
Monisha Brown 05/13 Microbial Resource Management in Indoor Recirculating Shrimp Aquaculture Systems Environmental Specialist, Arcadis-US, Florida Monisha Brown
Pranab Kumar Ghosh 07/09-07/10 Biological uranium removal from drinking water sources Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati  
Dongjuan Dai 09/10 Development of mixed-species biofilms and genetic mechanisms of species interactions in biofilms Research Scientist, Dept. of CEE, Virginia Tech  
Giridhar Upadhyaya 09/10 Biologically-mediated, Simultaneous Removal of Nitrate and Arsenic from Drinking Water Sources Research Engineer, Carollo Engineers, Inc., Orange County, CA Giridhar Upadhyaya
David Berry 09/09 Molecular and Ecological Mechanisms of Bacterial Response to the Drinking Water Disinfectant Monochloramine Assistant Professor, Dept. of Microbial Ecology, University of Vienna David Berry
Xu Li 09/08 Biological Treatment of Perchlorate and Nitrate Contaminanted Drinking Water − Optimization of System Performance Using Microbial Community Characterization Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE Xu Li
Toshio Shimada-Beltran (co-advised with J. Zilles and E. Morgenroth) 08/02-05/07 Effects of macrolide antimicroials on anaerobic treatment systems Research Engineer, Carollo Engineers, Dallas, TX  
Zhi Zhou 05/07 Evaluation of macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B (MLSB) antimicrobial resistance at swine farms Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Purdue University Zhi Zhou
Sudini Padmasiri (co-advised with E. Morgenroth) 08/03-09/07 Effect of high shear on anaerobic digestion in an anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) treating high strength wastewater Technologist, Shell Projects and Technology, Utilities and Heat Transfer Group, Shell Oil Company, Houston, TX  
Ku Yong Kim (KAIST, Korea) 03/04-02/05 Biological hydrogen production PhD student, KAIST, Korea  
Young Chul Choi (co-advised with E. Morgenroth) 08/01-12/05 Biological perchlorate removal from drinking water Research Engineer, CH2M-Hill, Atlanta, GA  
Mohammad Amin 06/03-01/04 Anaerobic Sequence Batch Reactor Iran  
Mark Fitch (University of Missouri-Rolla ) 06/03-06/04 The Influence of Shear on Membrane Fouling and Biological Processes in an Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) for Swine Manure Treatment Associate Professor, University of Missouri-Rolla  
Ebru Ulekgurgen (Istanbul Technical University, Turkey) (co-advised with E. Morgenroth) 02/04-07/04 Granulation in sequencing batch reactors for enhanced biological phosphorus removal PhD student, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey  
Dominic Frigon 01/99-12/04 Mechanism explaining seasonal biological foaming in activated sludge wastewater treatment systems: foam-causing bacteria specialize in consuming lipids Assistant Professor, McGillUniversity, Montreal, Quebec  
Jess Brown (co-advised with V. Snoeyink) 01/99-01/02 Abiotic and biotic perchlorate removal in an activated carbon filter Vice President, R&D Practice Director, Carollo Engineers, Inc., Sarasota, FL  
Daniel Oerther 08/98-06/02 Using molecular signature methods to measure the in situ physiology of Acinetobacter spp. in enhanced biological phosphorus removal activated sludge wastewater treatment Professor, John A. and Susan Mathes Chair of Environmental Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO  
Dandan Zheng 08/93-08/95 Characterization of microbial communities in anaerobic bioreactors using oligonucleotide probe hybridizations Director, Quality operation at Grifols, Los Angeles, CA


Usha George (Tocklai Experimental Station, India) 01/99-06/99 Molecular microbial ecology of anaerobic bioreactors Tocklai Experimental Station, India  
Francis de los Reyes 08/94-12/99 Filamentous foaming in activated sludge systems: A study combining molecular and engineering approaches Professor, Dept. of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC  
Dagmar Rothauszky (Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany) 01/96-05/96 Oligonucleotide probes for Microthrix parvicella to characterize foaming in activated sludge Evotec Corp., Hamburg, Germany  
Kaare Hansen (Technical University of Denmark) 08/96-12/96 Oligonucleotide probes for Syntrophomonadaceae to characterize anaerobic bioreactors Novo Nordisk, Denmark  
Wolfgang Ritter (Technical University of Munich, Germany) 01/95-08/95 Oligonucleotide probes for mycolic acid containing actinomycetes to characterize foaming in activated sludge Medical School, Germany  

M.S. Students Graduated (With Thesis)

Name Work Period Thesis Title Placement
Petia Tontcheva (co-advised with E. Morgenroth) 08/05-08/07 Organic and inorganic membrane fouling mechanisms in anaerobic membrane bioreactors PhD student, UIUC
Shubhra Jain 08/04-10/06 Filamentous foaming in activated sludge systems Carollo Engineers, Sarasota, FL
Jiangzhao Zhang (co-advised with E. Morgenroth) 08/02-05/05 Effect of shear on membrane fouling in anaerobic membrane bioreactors treating swine waste Carollo Engineers,

Santa Ana, CA

Nicole Monteith (co-advised with E. Morgenroth) 08/02-07/04 Effect of erythromycin on nitrification  
Richard Lin (co-advised with E. Morgenroth) 07/01-08/03 Bacterial Community Analysis and Optimization of Biologically Active Carbon Filters Used to Remove Perchlorate from Groundwater Montgomery, Watson, Herza, Walnut Creek, CA
Sudini Padmasiri 08/01-08/03 Microbial community characterization of biological hydrogen removal systems Shell Oil Company, Houston, TX
Ning Tong (co-advised with B. Marinas) 08/01-08/03 Adaptive response in Mycobacterium avium when exposed to monochloramine Environmental Restoration Department, Battelle, Columbus, OH
Adam Klein 08/01-07/03 Using Molecular Techniques to Assess the Role of Novel Organisms in Biological Foaming at Wastewater Treatment Plants Brown and Caldwell, Seattle, WA
Archana Jindal 08/00-08/02 Antimicrobial Resistance in Swine Waste Treatment Processes Carollo Engineers, Santa Ana, CA
Becky Daugherty 08/00-08/02 Anaerobic treatment of high sulfate waste streams to allow for the subsequent recovery of sulfur Carollo Engineers, Denver, CO
Eva Arnaiz 02/00-09/00 Foaming potential of Gordonia amarae grown under different conditions. Is foaming linked to cell wall hydrophobicity? Infilco, Madrid, Spain
Sandra Loor-Vela 08/98-08/00 Anaerobic dissipation of 14C-acetochlor in flooded soil microcosms Executive Director CECIA (NGO), Quito, ECUADOR
Peter Stroot 08/94-07/99 Anaerobic co-digestion of municipal solid waste and biosolids under various mixing conditions Assistant Professor, University of SouthFlorida

(PhDUniversity of Cincinnati)

Daniel Oerther 08/95-08/98 Application of molecular tools for the analysis of biological foaming in activated sludge Professor, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO
James Danalewich 01/96-07/98 Biological nutrient removal from domestic and milk processing wastewaters Malcolm Pirnie Inc., White Plains, NY
Katherine McMahon (Sauer) 08/95-10/97 Syntrophic and methanogenic population dynamics during the anaerobic codigestion of municipal solid waste and sewage sludge Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison

(PhD UC Berkeley)

Ma. Firorella de los Reyes 08/95-08/97 Detection and quantification of Gordona amarae strains in foaming activated sludge systems using a phylogenetic approach Manila Water Company, Balara, Quezon City, Philippines
Ebru Dulekgurgen 01/95-02/97 Microbial population dynamics in sequencing batch reactors for biological phosphorus removal using ribosomal RNA sequence analyses and oligonucleotide probe hybridizations Assistant Professor, Istanbul Technical University, Environmental Engineering Department, Istanbul-Turkey
Theodore Papagiannis 01/95-08/96 Biological nutrient removal from dairy processing wastewater Attorney, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, Irvine, CA
Evanthia Tor (Malkos) 01/94-01/96 Bioremediation of naphtalene in soils of varying textures, nutrient concentrations, and hydrocarbon content Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Springfield, MA
Matthew Griffin 01/94-08/95 Use of molecular tools to enhance the evaluation of anaerobic co-digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste and sewage sludge General Motors, MI
Dandan Zheng 08/93-08/95 Characterization of microbial communities in anaerobic bioreactors using oligonucleotide probe hybridizations Director, Quality operation at Grifols, Los Angeles, CA


M.S. Students Graduated

Name Work Period Placement (and M.S. Project)  

Meghna Prasad


Staff Professional, Carollo Engineers, Inc., West Palm Beach, Florida (Optimizing Filter Operation in an Ozone-Biofiltration Plant to Reduce Selection for Opportunistic Pathogens in Drinking Water Production)


Freddy Ordonez


Field Engineer, Chevron, TX (Anaerobic MBR)

Brittany Colcord


Field Engineer, Chevron, TX (Medium-chain fatty acid production during anaerobic treatment of waste streams)

Si Qi (Cindy) Yao 09/15-08/18 Energy Analyst, Bright Power, Inc., New York, NY (Recirculating shrimp aquaculture)


Grace Rodriguez


Consultant, Ramboll, Ann Arbor, MI (Sustainability of arsenic removal processes in Bangladesh)

Grace Rodriguez

Grace Van Velden

01/16-05/17 Admitted to MSE-PhD Bridge program in Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Michigan (Sustainability of arsenic removal processes in Bangladesh) IMG_2119

James Yonts

1/16-12/16 Tetratech, Lansing, MI (Monitoring of corrosion and opportunistic bacterial pathogens in potable hot water pipe loop) James
Nadine Kotlarz (PhD track) 09/11-05/13 Biological nitrate and perchlorate removal from drinking water using various electron donors  
Kathryn Vanderweele Snyder (co-advised with K. Hayes) 09/12-05/13 Peace Corps volunteer, Panama (Arsenic removal from drinking water sources)  
Ashley Hammerbeck (research) 09/11-05/13 Consulting engineering Minneapolis-St.Paul area (Anaerobic membrane bioreactors for domestic wastewater treatment)  
Andrea Trese (research) 09/11-05/12 Uganda (Fulbright) and Tanzania (Boren), consulting engineering Bay Area (Monitoring drinking water distribution systems)  
Alyssa Jenkins (research) 09/10-12/11 Hazen and Sawyer, Cincinnati, OH (Biological removal of arsenic and nitrate from drinking water)  
Tara Clancy (PhD track – co-advised with K. Hayes) 09/09-12/10 PhD student UM( Role of sulfate-reducing microbes in biologically mediated removal of arsenic from drinking water)  
Tzu-Hsin Chiao (research) 09/09-05/12 Dual degree MSE and MS in Sustainable Systems Engineering (Disinfection strategies for mixed microbial communities in drinking water systems)  
Adam Smith (PhD track) 06/09-05/11 PhD student UM (Anaerobic membrane bioreactors)  
Andrew Colby (research) 07/09-12/10 Carollo Engineers, Denver, CO (sustainable aquaculture and stress in nitrification systems)  
Jeff Jackson (research) 09/08-05/10 Malcolm Pirnie, Denver, CO (Biological removal of arsenic and nitrate from drinking water)  
Tanna Borrell (research – co-advised with S. Skerlos) 05/06 – 08/09 Stay at home mother (use of anaerobic membrane bioreactor for municipal wastewater treatment)  
Lynn Williams (research) 09/07-05/09 Brown and Caldwell, Seattle, WA (disinfection of drinking water treated by biofiltration)  
Rohit Warrier 09/07-12/08 PhD student UM, Department of Geology  
Chikako Donahue (research) 09/06-12/08 Stay at home mother
Wangki Yuen (research) 09/07-06/08 PhDstudentUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Microbial community characterization of drinking water treatment Systems)  
Monisha Brown (PhD track) 09/06 – 12/07 PhD student UM, CEE (Sustainable aquaculture)  
Tara Jackson (research) 09/05 – 12/07 Chevron, Houston, TX (Quantification of microbial populations in anaerobic membrane bioreactors using a phylogenetic microarray method)  
David Berry (PhD track) 09/05 – 05/07 Postdoctoral researcher, Dept. of Microbial Ecology, University of Vienna  
Gregg Thompson 08/97-12/98 CH2M-Hill, Corvalis, OR  
Florencio Ballesteros 08/96-12/97 Instructor, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines  
Eric Leveque 08/95-01/97 Carollo Engineers, Las Vegas, NV  
David Schumacher 08/94-08/96 Walter E. Deuchler Associates, Inc., Aurora, IL  
Jose Barrios-Perez 08/94-08/96 Ph.D. 2003, Asesor del C. Secretario, Secretaria del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, México, D.F., Mexico  
C. Eliana Brown 01/94-01/96 Illinois EPA, Champaign, IL  
Pavitra Misra 08/93-01/96 NTH Consultants, Lansing, MI  
Jeffrey Ralson 08/93-10/95 O’Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc., Novi, MI  
Tetsuo Wada 08/93-08/95 Nihon Suido Consultants Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan  
Carlos Chavez-Gomez 08/93-05/95 Black & Veach, Phoenix, AZ  
Louis le Roux 08/93-12/94 Biothane, New Jersey, NJ  

Former Group Pictures (and Animations ♥)

2018 – From left to right: Timothy Fairley, Melina Bautista, Yun Shen, Lutgarde Raskin, Adelaide Nieguitsila, Kate Dowdell, Emily Crosette, Xavi Fonoll, Tjok Jan Meuwissen, Caroline Van Steendam, Nicole Rockey, Lindsay Hayter, Juliana Huizenga, Sonja Gage, Mathew Vedrin, Raghav Reddy.

2018 – From left to right, back row first: Timothy Fairley, Lindsay Hayter, Juliana Huizenga, Adelaide Nieguitsila, Lutgarde Raskin, Tjok Jan Meuwissen, Nicole Rockey, Xavi Fonoll, Matthew Vedrin, Raghav Reddy, Shilva Shrestha, Lucy Aley, Emily Crossette, Kate Dowdell, Sonja Gagen, Caroline Van Steendam, Matthew Vedrin.

2017 – From left to right, back row first: Emily Crossette, Kate Dowdell, Liem Ellen Setiawan, Sarah Haig, Lindsay Rasmussen, Shilva Shrestha, Raghav Reddy, Yun Shen, Nuria Zamorano-Lopez, Juliana Huizenga, Nicole Rockey, Si Qi (Cindy) Yao, Brittany Colcord, Matthew Verdin, Melina Bautista, Freddy Ordonez, Xavi Fonoll, Caroline Van Steendam, Lutgarde Raskin, Timothy Fairley, Gislhain Djessi Tchouty.

2017 – The Grove. From left to right: Matthew Vedrin, Xavi Fonoll, Timothy Fairley, Lutgarde Raskin, Lindsay Rasmussen, Raghav Reddy, Nuria Zamorano-Lopez, Kate Dowdell, Caroline Van Steendam, Gislhain Djessi Tchouty, Nicole Rocky, Freddy Ordonez, Juliana Huizenga, Shilva Shrestha, Si Qi (Cindy) Yao, Sarah Haig, Liem Ellen Setiawan, Brittany Colcord, Yun Shen, Melina Bautista, Emily Crossette.

2016 – Wavefield. From left to right, back row first: Nadine Kotlarz, Nicole Rockey, Lutgarde Raskin, Timothy Fairley, James Yonts, Xavi Fonoll, Grace Van Velden, Raghav Reddy, Sarah Haig, Caroline Van Steendam, Guy Burke, Grace Rodriguez, Julie Fichefet, Emily Crossette, Shilva Shrestha, Si Qi (Cindy) Yao.

2016 – Wavefield. From left to right: Xavi Fonoll, Lutgarde Raskin, Emily Crosette, Julie Fichefet, Timothy Fairley, James Yonts, Grace Van Velden, Shilva Shrestha, Guy Burke, Grace Rodriguez, Nadine Kotlarz, Caroline Van Steendam, Sarah Haig, Nicole Rockey, Si Qi (Cindy) Yao, Raghav Reddy.