My lab's current
research involves studies in bioremediation, including microbial
fermentation and phytoremediation of both
inorganic and organic
contaminants, as well as polyculture and plant
culturing techniques.These include laboratory investigations as well as field
Bioconversion of Contaminants
I am interested in biological processes that convert environmental contaminants such as heavy metals and excess nutrients into detoxified compounds and commercially valuable products. Our research investigations range from nanoparticle biosynthesis in microbial species to bioremediation in integrated multi-trophic aquaculture.These include laboratory investigations as well as field
studies are being performed in collaboration with fish
biologists at Queen’s and the local aquaculture industry. In these studies plants are being assessed for their ability to clean
water used in the culture of fish and for their growth rates as horticultural
crops under these conditions.
Biotransformation.Recent scientific publications include those in the
area of metal biotransformation where it was
discovered by using bioreactors that a range of microbes can convert metal ions
into sulfides with the desirable outcome of low metal bioavailability to other organisms.
work includes using tree species such as poplars and willows to remove
contaminants from, and stop the migration of contaminated groundwater.Of particular interest is the removal of dioxane, that is destroyed by
light after it has been volatilized from tree leaves.Furthermore, groundwater movement can be attenuated by high rates of
evapotranspiration from trees that have deep root systems.
research area in bioremediation is exploiting the genetic variation in fungal
species that use the enzymes, laccase and peroxidase, to degrade organic
chemicals.From these studies we
developed a practical laboratory for our fourth year bioremediation course that
was such a success, it was recently published in the journal of biological
Culturing for High
Root Production.We have published a very effective means of growing
plants to produce large root systems which can
then be easily used for studies at the biochemical and molecular levels.This study employed the model plant species, Arabidopsis thaliana.(See also the video at top of page).
Department of Biology, Queen's University.
Last Updated: Aug 2014