Bio. Sci. Graduate Seminar - Rehab Alhajjar & Manas Warke


Rehab Khalid Alhajjar                                                                                     Advisor: Stephen Techtmann

Presentation Title: Comparative Environmental Impacts of Biocides and Nanoparticles on Aquatic Microorganism

Abstract: Biocides and nanoparticles (NPs) are known for their antimicrobial properties and are used to control microbial growth. Biocide use has the potential to increase antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Nanoparticles show great promise in a number of industrial applications beyond microbial control. However, there are concerns about the environmental impacts of nanoparticles use and the release of nanoparticles to the environment. The environmental fate of nanoparticles and biocides is poorly understood. The proposed study will investigate the ecological impacts of releases of biocides and nanoparticles into water bodies and their impact on bacterial communities. In particular, it will compare the ecological risks of using biocides and NPs on bacterial populations in freshwater. Biocides are known to select for bacteria that are resistant to biocides and biocide resistance can lead to antibiotic resistance. There is limited knowledge regarding the environmental impacts of biocides and NPs in freshwater settings, which must be addressed. Furthermore, understanding the development of microbial resistance to biocide and NPs on a molecular level is required to stop the spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. Knowledge regarding the relative mechanism for resistance to biocides and NPs may help to clarify the utility of NPs for industrial applications for efficient and economical water cleanup. This work will seek to clarify the impact of biocides and NPs on environmental bacteria and the mechanisms of resistance to these biocides.

Manas Warke                                                                                        Advisor: Rupali Datta

Presentation Title: A Novel Phytoremediation Method to Cleanup Lead-Based Paint Contaminated Soils: Phase III - Demonstration Study

Abstract: Lead is a highly toxic metal occurring naturally in the earth’s crust. It is also linked to various health disorders, especially in children. When lead is absorbed by the body it can lead to behavioral problems and learning disabilities. About 38 million houses built before 1978, were painted with lead-based paints. Gradual weathering of the paint results in chipping, flaking and peeling, resulting in increase in lead concentration in the yard-soils and house-dust. Off-site remediation by soil disposal has been most commonly practiced for lead. However, large expense, ecological disruption and regulatory requirements make it difficult. Thus, we proposed phytoremediation, an on-site and environmentally friendly technique for lead remediation. Chrysopogon zizanioides or commonly known as Vetiver has been effective in accumulating lead in its shoot and root tissue. After successfully testing lead remediation by vetiver in Phase - I (greenhouse study) and Phase - II (simulated field study), we are working on a demonstration study in six residential properties. Our main goal is to reduce the bioavailable lead in the soil up to the USEPA regulatory limit of 400 ppm. Our secondary goal is to develop a guidance manual for homeowners to spread awareness about the hazards of lead exposure and to implement this technology.

Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC), 201/202
1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931

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