Major society chemistry publishers jointly commit to integration with ORCID

ORCID provides an identifier for individuals to use with their name as they engage in research, scholarship and innovation activities, ensuring authors gain full credit for their work.

Today, we signed their open letter, along with ACS Publications, committing to unambiguous identification of all authors that publish in our journals.

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The Royal Society of Chemistry and the Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) today each became signatories to the ORCID Open Letter, reasserting the commitment of both organizations to enhancing the scholarly publishing experience for researchers worldwide who are involved in chemistry and allied fields.

The commitment by these two global chemistry publishers to undertake new workflow integration with technology infrastructure provided by ORCID, a not-for-profit organization that provides unique identifiers for researchers and scholars, will enable both societies to provide unambiguous designation of author names within chemistry and across the broader sciences. This partnership with ORCID will resolve ambiguity in researcher identification caused by name changes, cultural differences in name presentation, and the inconsistent use of name abbreviations that is too often a source of confusion for those who must rely on the published scientific record.

By becoming signatories to the ORCID Open Letter, these two major chemical societies are voicing their intent to collect ORCID iDs for all submitting authors through use of the ORCID API, and to display such identifiers in the articles published in their respective society journals. The integration of such activities within the publishers’ workflows means authors will benefit from automated linkages between their ORCID record and unique identifiers embedded within their published research articles, ensuring their contributions are appropriately recognized and credited.

During the publishing process, ACS and the Royal Society of Chemistry will automatically deposit publications to Crossref, which in turn will coordinate with ORCID to link and update the publishing activity populated to authors’ respective ORCID profiles, thus attributing each published work to the correct researcher. Existing holders of an ORCID iD will encounter a one-time prompt to grant permission for the linkage. If authors do not have an ORCID iD, they can easily enroll without navigating away from the publishers’ manuscript submission site. If users wish to revoke integrated ORCID profile access at any time, they can elect to do so through their ACS, Royal Society of Chemistry or ORCID accounts.

Both ACS Publications and the Royal Society of Chemistry understand the importance of attributing accurately the scholarly contributions of research scientists in the context of their other professional activities. “ACS has supported ORCID since the outset of the initiative,” says Sarah Tegen, Ph.D., Vice President of Global Editorial & Author Services at ACS Publications. “We are pleased now to align with the Royal Society of Chemistry in this endeavor, as both societies underscore our willingness not only to encourage and assist our respective authors in establishing their unique ORCID profiles, but also to help tackle the broader challenge of researcher name disambiguation in the scholarly literature. With the integration of author ORCID iDs in our publishing workflows, we will ensure that researchers receive proper credit for their accomplishments.”

Emma Wilson, Ph.D., Director of Publishing at the Royal Society of Chemistry adds, “We have been a supporter of ORCID since 2013, recognizing the benefits it brings to researchers; ORCID can and will make a huge difference to our authors’ ability to gain full credit for their work. ORCID will also help researchers meet the requirements of their research funders — for example, a number of funders have already announced that all grant applicants must now include a researcher’s ORCID iD. A unified system that integrates and links research-related information with accurate and timely linkage to the publishing output of authors has the potential to simplify and speed up their grant applications — something we know is important to researchers.”

“The ACS and the Royal Society of Chemistry have been long-standing supporters of ORCID,” says Laurel Haak, Ph.D., Executive Director, ORCID. “We are pleased to see ORCID integration into ACS and Royal Society of Chemistry Publications systems. This will be a substantial benefit to researchers in the chemistry community, both in improving search and discovery of research articles, and for attribution and recognition of researchers’ contributions to the discipline.”

About the American Chemical Society and ACS Publications

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

ACS Publications, a division of the American Chemical Society, is a nonprofit scholarly publisher of 50 peer-reviewed journals and a range of eBooks at the interface of chemistry and allied sciences, including physics and biology. ACS Publications journals are among the most-cited, most-trusted and most-read within the scientific literature. Respected for their editorial rigor, ACS journals offer high-quality service to authors and readers, including rapid time to publication, a range of channels for researchers to access ACS Publications’ award-winning web and mobile delivery platforms, and a comprehensive program of open access publishing options for authors and their funders. ACS Publications also publishes Chemical & Engineering News — the Society’s newsmagazine covering science and technology, business and industry, government and policy, education and employment aspects of the chemistry field.

About the Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry is the world’s leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences. With over 50,000 members and a knowledge business that spans the globe, we are the U.K.’s professional body for chemical scientists; a not-for-profit organisation with 175 years of history and an international vision for the future. We promote, support and celebrate chemistry. We work to shape the future of the chemical sciences — for the benefit of science and humanity.

About ORCID

ORCID’s vision is a world where all who participate in research, scholarship and innovation are uniquely identified and connected to their contributions across disciplines, borders and time. ORCID provides an identifier for individuals to use with their name as they engage in research, scholarship and innovation activities. It provides open tools that enable transparent and trustworthy connections between researchers, their contributions and affiliations. The organization provides this service to help people find information and to simplify reporting and analysis. ORCID is a not-for-profit organization, sustained by fees from member organizations. Its work is open, transparent and non-proprietary. The organization strives to be a trusted component of research infrastructure with the goal of providing clarity in the breadth of research contributions and the people who make them.

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Ozone filling a hole in water disinfection

Written for Chemistry World by Osman Mohamed

Ozone generator proves to be healthier alternative to established chlorination technology for small-scale wastewater treatment

Irrigation system

Every day, 34 billion litres of fresh water are used for landscape irrigation in the US. Source: © iStock

Scientists in the US have proven that wastewater disinfection by ozonation can reduce impacts on human health compared with chlorination, today’s most commonly used method.

34 billion litres of fresh water are used in the US every day for landscape irrigation. Small-scale disinfectant systems could curb this enormous need by allowing households and businesses to recycle their own wastewater.

Currently, wastewater disinfection is mainly carried out using chlorination, where chlorine or hypochlorite is added to the water to kill pathogens, but now microplasma ozonation has emerged as a competitor to this established system. In this new technology ozone, a powerful disinfectant, is produced using electricity and oxygen in a stacked generator. This allows energy efficiency and easy operation for small-scale water treatment.

Despite both technologies aiming to benefit human health by removing pathogens, they do have hidden health impacts due to emissions and energy consumption during setup and operation – factors that are rarely considered. Now, Jeremy Guest, Thanh Nguyen and their team from the University of Illinois have decided to put this emerging technology to the test.

Read the full article in Chemistry World.


Human health trade-offs in the disinfection of wastewater for landscape irrigation: microplasma ozonation vs. chlorination

Shengkun Dong, Jun Li, Min-Hwan Kim, Sung-Jin Park, J. Gary Eden, Jeremy S. Guest and Thanh H. Nguyen

Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2017, Advance Article

DOI: 10.1039/C6EW00235H

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Halting the flow of microplastics

Written for Chemistry World by Polly-Anna Ashford

Having investigated the fate of microplastics in different wastewater treatment processes, scientists in the US found that most plants are not designed to fully remove the small litter particles.

Microplastics are tiny particles (<5 mm in size) that arise from the degradation of larger plastics in the ocean as well as direct release from common household products such as toothpaste. Their full potential impact on aquatic ecosystems is still unknown, but they can be ingested by small organisms and may release harmful chemicals.

Melissa Duhaime and colleagues from the University of Michigan now compared the effectiveness of wastewater treatment plants using three different clean-up methods.

Read the full article in Chemistry World.


Fate of microplastics and other small anthropogenic litter (SAL) in wastewater treatment plants depends on unit processes employed

Marlies R. Michielssen, Elien R. Michielssen, Jonathan Ni and Melissa B. Duhaime

Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2016, Advance Article

DOI: 10.1039/C6EW00207B, Paper

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Emerging Investigators Series: Haizhou Liu

Dr Haizhou Liu, University of California, Riverside

Dr Haizhou Liu is an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Riverside. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from University of Washington in 2010, and has a M.S. in Civil Engineering from University of Washington and B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Sichuan University, China. Prior to joining UC Riverside, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley for two years on soil remediation projects. Haizhou’s research interests include water chemistry, colloidal metal behavior and redox chemistry in drinking water, water reuse and treatment, environmental remediation, electrochemistry and catalysis. Haizhou’s current research focuses on the applications of aquatic chemistry principles to our benefits in engineered applications such as water purification and wastewater reclamation, as well as to understand how various redox and interfacial chemical processes influence natural systems such as estuarine, surface and groundwater.

Read Haizhou’s Emerging Investigators review on the “Occurrence and speciation of chromium in drinking water distribution systems” and find out more about his work  in the interview below:

How has your research evolved from your first to your most recent article?

My first research experience dates back to my freshman year. I participated in an undergraduate research to develop desulfurization technologies to treat flue gas. It was an exciting opportunity to learn how to design an experiment, collect and analyze the data, and come up with a hypothesis to test it. From my first research experience, I became very interested in environmental chemistry and have been working in this area since then. My most recent research is focused on water chemistry, especially the fate of metal and metalloids in water distribution system.

 

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

I am most excited about the complex interfacial and redox-driven chemical processes in the water distribution system. Our ongoing work shows that the water distribution system has many reactive components, and water chemistry plays a key role in maintaining the chemical stability of the system. Currently, understanding of distribution system chemistry has been mostly limited to a few empirical chemical indices. Awareness of redox reactivities of accumulated contaminants in corrosion products with residual disinfectants and source waters is largely unknown. Outcome from our work can help to increase access to clean water and improve urban infrastructure – two National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges.

 

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge for drinking water distribution systems?

More cities in the future will deal with aging water infrastructure. Although distribution systems might be functional when operating as they have been for decades, the risks are going to come when source waters are abruptly switched in response to droughts or a decision to use a new water supply. The biggest challenge is how to minimize the adverse impact on water quality when using alternative water sources in the future, while maintaining the chemical integrity of the water distribution system. As environmental engineers, we have sadly seen the catastrophic consequences of ignoring the complex chemical reactivity of water distribution systems when switching the source of surface waters as in Flint, Michigan. Ideas developed through my ongoing work could aid engineers and water system managers in preventing the next Flint. To address these universal challenges and to prevent another Flint crisis with a variety of toxic inorganic contaminants – including but not limited to lead – it is urgent to investigate the redox-driven in situ mobilization of accumulated contaminants from distribution systems.

 

What do you find most challenging about your research?

The water distribution system is such a complex “reactor”. The focus of redox chemistry in our work is a pivotal step to advance our knowledge towards a comprehensive investigation, but it requires very careful and vigorous investigation of fundamental chemistry, and this take time. In addition, many issues of water distribution systems are still poorly understood, including biofilm, galvanic and bio-corrosion, mass transfer and diffusion processes at the pipe-water interface. This requires a collaborative effort among environmental engineers to solve the problems.

 

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

I will attend the American Chemical Society Spring Meeting in San Francisco (April 2017), and the biennial conference of Association of Environmental Engineering Science Professors at University of Michigan (June 2017).

 

How do you spend your spare time?

As an assistant professor, I don’t have too much spare time outside work, but when there is a change, I play tennis or beach volleyball in sunshine California. I also fall in love with learning Italian and other Romantic languages.

 

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

I would like to be a pianist. I enjoy classical music very much (favorite composer Mozart) and would like to be good at playing it.

 

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

Work hard, present your work at conferences and interact with you colleagues. All of these will help build a positive system and make your more creative and productive.

 


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Pan Africa Chemistry Network Congress 2016 – registration open!

We are delighted to announce that Pan Africa Chemistry Network Congress 2016 – Sustainable Water Resources for Africa is being held in Kenya on 30 November – 2 December 2016 – be sure to secure your place today! For full details of speakers and conference themes, please visit the event web page.

This will be the 10th PACN Congress, and will bring together over 200 participants from across Africa and the globe to discuss current research, challenges, new developments and crucial issues on the topic of Water.

The speaker and participants will share expertise and best practice and discuss cutting edge research and applications.  It will reflect the diversity of science and research that can help solve challenges of water security and water safety, with a focus on the chemical sciences.  The conference will give all participants the opportunity to engage with other scientists, exchange ideas and previous events have led to new collaborations and partnerships.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Emerging Investigator Series: Kevin J. Bisceglia and Nicole Fahrenfeld

Kevin Bisceglia is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Hofstra University. He earned a B.S. and M.E. in Environmental Engineering from Manhattan College, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University. His research interests include environmental analytical chemistry, water quality, and chemical fate and transport in the built environment.

Nicole Fahrenfeld is an Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering from Virginia Tech. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and M.S. in Environmental Engineering and Science from Clemson University. Her research interests include pathogen fate and transport, microbial source tracking, bioremediation, and emerging contaminants.

Read their Emerging Investigators article ‘sewer surveillance for monitoring antibiotic use and prevalence of antibiotic resistance: urban sewer epidemiology’. It’s open access and therefore free to read.

– How has your research evolved from your first to your most recent article?

Kevin: I started off studying the redox chemistry of metals and metalloids in sediments. After that, I moved into environmental organic chemistry, studying pharmaceuticals and personal care products as contaminants. I had a fantastic opportunity to do some of my doctoral work at NIST developing methods for the determination of illicit drugs in municipal wastewater, and I’ve been fascinated with the notion of wastewater-based epidemiology ever since.

Nicole: I started research interested in environmental organic chemistry, so much so that my masters project was using chemical tracers for fecal coliform source tracking.  That interest in chemical fate and transport lead me to a PhD project on munitions biodegradation.  During that project I learned more about and became more interested in the microbiology driving chemical fate in the environment.  Now working on antibiotic resistance, and this review in particular, is a chance to continue working at that interface of organic chemistry and microbiology for an important water quality and public health issue.

– What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

Kevin: I’m really excited about extending the practice of wastewater-based epidemiology beyond monitoring illicit drug use, into equally pressing public health concerns such as antibiotic resistance. I’ve also become interested in better understanding chemical cycling in suburban environments. Long Island, where Hofstra is located, is intimately linked with the post-war notion of suburban living, and it is home to many of the first modern American suburbs. As most Americans now live in suburban environments, a key challenge we face is how to make existing suburbs more sustainable and resilient. Luckily, there is a great cohort of people at Hofstra University attempting to do just that.

Nicole: Since joining Rutgers I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to apply my skills to urban water quality issues.  NJ has high rates of de facto water reuse, legacy contaminants from our industrial past, high population density, and aging infrastructure.  Environmental engineers can play a role in helping work towards improved water quality and resiliency.

– In your opinion, what is currently the biggest challenge for sewer systems?

Nicole: The age and, in regions with combined sewers, outdated design of sewers is the greatest challenge currently.  No matter the approach (green or gray infrastructure), it is time to invest in upgrading these systems.

Kevin: I agree with Nicole that the biggest problem sewers face is their age and, especially in the northeastern US where Hofstra and Rutgers are located, the existence of combined sewers.

– What should the next step be to improve our understanding of processes occurring in our sewer infrastructure?

Nicole: One step would be better understanding the factors driving attenuation in these systems.  Lisa Rodenburg’s lab at Rutgers did some really interesting work on persistent organic pollutant degradation in sewer systems.  My lab is hoping to build on that by understanding the factors driving pathogen attenuation in these systems.

Kevin: I’d recommend pilot scale studies to better understand sewers as biochemical reactors and as a unique ecological niche. I’m closely following work by Nicole, Lisa Rodenberg, and others to better understand chemical and microbial dynamics in sewer systems.

– What do you find most challenging about your research?

Kevin: Keeping my analytical instruments running, and convincing public health researchers to consider municipal wastewater as a resource for surveilling public health. There has been some interest in doing so in the EU, but far less in the United States.

Nicole: It is an exciting time with the ability to generate –omics data sets and move towards systems level understandings of environmental processes.  But, piecing these large data sets together and figuring out what they really means in these complex systems is certainly a new challenge.

– In which upcoming conference or events may our readers meet you?

Nicole: We’ll be presenting our research on end-of-pipe treatment for combined sewer overflow effluent at WEFTEC.

Kevin: I’m planning to be at the national ACS conference this spring.

– How do you spend your spare time?

Nicole: Running, sailing, hiking, at the shore and with my family.

Kevin: With my children, aged 5 and 7. I try to get outdoors whenever possible, whether to NYC or hiking, biking, kayaking along Long Island’s coastal waters

– Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

Kevin: I would be a research librarian. My favorite part of doing research is fact-finding and literature review, during which you get to learn about what others have done and think about what might be possible. I’d love to do that full time.

Nicole: Probably writing. I became interested in environmental engineering in part from newspaper articles I read while volunteering at a non-profit for children’s environmental health. A well-written story can put flesh behind facts and data and make a real difference in the way a reader feels about an issue. If I wasn’t working on generating those data and facts, I think I’d enjoy telling the stories surrounding them.

– Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

Kevin: Rely on colleagues for support and guidance along the way. You may be surprised to learn how many of your peers are experiencing similar challenges. Although our field can be competitive, don’t hesitate to seek out collaborative opportunities and create a network of ‘advisers.’

Nicole:I didn’t know this was the job I’d have or the research I’d be doing when I started out.  When I get the opportunity to speak to students about career paths I can empathize with the uncertainty or anxiety some express about what area they want to focus in, how/if/when they want to pursue grad school, etc.  There are lots of paths to a satisfying career and a happy life.  Don’t be afraid to start trying on hats to see which fits.


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International Conference on Water Reclamation and Reuse

This event will bring together water managers, industry leaders, and cutting edge researchers from around the world to learn what’s working, what’s not and what’s next in water reuse policy and regulations, technology, operations, financing and public perception.

Abstract Submission Deadline: October 1, 2016

Check out the conference website to get all the latest information and submit your abstracts at: http://iwareuse2017

We look forward to seeing you there next year!


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Top 10 Reviewers for Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology

In celebration of Peer Review Week, with the theme of Recognition for Review – we would like to highlight the top 10 reviewers for Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology in 2016, as selected by the editor for their significant contribution to the journal.

Name Institution
Dr Paul van der Wielen KWR
Dr Zhen He Virginia Tech
Dr Long Nghiem University of Wollongong
Dr Kyle Bibby University of Pittsburgh
Dr Philipp Kuntke WETSUS
Professor Sirshendu De Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
Professor Fernando Rosario-Ortiz University of Colorado Boulder
Dr Gary Fones University of Portsmouth
Dr Graham Gagnon Dalhousie University
Dr Heather Bischel EPFL

We would like to say a massive thank you to these reviewers as well as the Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology board and all of the environmental chemistry community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

Keep an eye on our Environmental Science: Processes& Impacts and Environmental Science: Nano blogs where the top 10 reviewers for each journal will be revealed.

Review to win!
As a little added bonus to celebrate Peer Review Week, for the next four weeks our reviewers will be in with a chance of winning a fantastic prize! Simply submit a review for any of our journals between 19 September and 16 October 2016 and you will be automatically eligible for a chance to win one of our fantastic prizes.

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Emerging Investigator Series:Xin Yang

Dr. Xin Yang is now a professor at the School of Environmental Science and Engineering at Sun Yat-sen University. She received a B.S. in Environmental Science from Nankai University in 2002 and obtained her M.Phil. and Ph.D. degree in Environmental Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology at 2004 and 2007, respectively. She was a postdoctoral fellow, working with Prof. Philip C. Singer at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on the formation mechanisms and control strategies of disinfection byproducts in water treatment and the fate of emerging micropollutants in aqueous environments.

Read Xin’s Emerging Investigators article ‘disinfection by-products in mixed chlorine dioxide and chlorine water treatment’.

– How has your research evolved from your first to your most recent article?
My first research article was on disinfection byproducts formation during chlorination during my MPhi study at the HKUST. My current paper is also on disinfection byproducts, but from chlorine dioxide disinfection. Over the years, my research has been focused on disinfection and the byproducts formation with expansion toward emerging contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products and persistent organic pollutants. My research has always aimed at drinking water safety.

– What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
The most exciting thing is to bridge the knowledge or results from the laboratory work with the real application. As my research has been focusing on drinking water treatment, we have good connections with water companies serving drinking water. It is great to apply what have learned from the laboratory work to guide the real application in water treatment. This is not easy, but we are trying.

– What would be the ideal ratio of chlorine dioxide:chlorine for water treatment?
From the tests, we find that the presence of some chlorine in chlorine dioxide solution may be effective in control certain groups of disinfection byproducts. It is difficult to give an ideal ratio as the water qualities vary. Meanwhile, the valuation of the formation of disinfection byproducts is just one aspect of the mixing solution, the other aspects such as inactivation capability may also be considered for further study.

– What do you find most challenging about your research?
I am working on pollutants or products with trace concentrations and the instruments such as GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS are often used. As the exploration of the reaction pathway is often one major objective, the mass spectral analysis from tons of peaks obtained from MS is very challenging.

– In which upcoming conference or events may our readers meet you?
I will be attending the Gordon Conference on Drinking Water Disinfection By-Products in July 2017 in South Hadley, MA, USA. The other conferences I often attend are the International Water Association conferences.

– How do you spend your spare time?
I spend my spare time with my family including my 6-year old son. Outside of that, I enjoy reading, travelling and playing tennis.

– Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?
I have been enjoying so much as a teacher and researcher in the university. If I had not gone into science, I would like to be an engineer.

– Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?
Work on something that needs to be worked on. Research is not just paper publication. It will be very exciting and important to solve real-application problems.

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Emerging Investigator Series: Christopher Sales

Christopher M. Sales is a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department of Drexel University. He is an environmental engineer with research interests in molecular environmental microbiology related to the biodegradation of environmental contaminants and biotechnologies for energy and resource recovery from waste. His research group, who you can follow on twitter @SalesLaboratory, applies a combination of high-throughput and advanced molecular biology, analytical chemistry, and bioinformatics techniques to study microbial systems in natural and engineered environments.

Christopher received his Ph.D  in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2012. His dissertation focusing on the functional genomics of the biodegradation of the emerging water contaminants, 1,4-dioxane and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Prior to this, he worked as a post-doctoral researcher with Dean Joseph B. Hughes in the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department at Drexel University concentrated on the bioremediation of soils contaminated with nitroaromatric compounds, the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale, and the development of combined algae-bacteria biotechnologies for the conversion of wastes to energy and valuable products.

Read Chris’ Emerging Investigators article ‘untangling the microbial ecosystem and kinetics in a nitrogen removing photosynthetic high density bioreactor’.

– How has your research evolved from your first to your most recent article?
This most recent article in ES:WR&T blends together aspects of research that I did as an undergraduate and then as a doctoral student. As an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, I performed research in the laboratory of Wen Kang Shieh (who is a co-author on this most recent article) that mainly focused on the design and kinetics of bioreactors for wastewater treatment. Through this undergraduate research, I was fortunate enough to publish a manuscript on the performance of a novel continuous bioreactor system that had high mean cell residence times without a biomass-liquid separation unit (see DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2006.01.043). While I knew microbes were involved in the treatment of synthetic wastewater in the bioreactors that I operated as an undergraduate, I was not able to fully grasp or appreciate–at that time–the complex microbial processes responsible for removing pollutants from wastewater in these systems. This undergraduate research experience propelled me on a journey to pursuing a graduate degree with Lisa Alvarez-Cohen at the University of California at Berkeley, where I applied functional genomics to understand microbial degradation of environmental contaminants.  This recent article on untangling the microbial ecology and kinetics in a nitrogen removing photosynthetic bioreactor of algae and bacteria showcases my ambitions as an Assistant Professor at Drexel University, where I am aiming to utilize molecular biology techniques, such as high-throughput genomic sequencing, to shed light on the microbial processes that dictate the function and performance of environmental biological processes in order to inform how we design and engineer them.

– What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?
The most exciting–and also the most daunting and challenging–aspect of incorporating meta-omics and high-throughput chemical techniques to studying the kinetics and microbiology of environmental biological processes is the collection, handling, and analysis of such large datasets. This influx of data has the potential to vastly improve our understanding and ability to engineer biological processes but realization of this potential will depend largely on advances in data sciences and computational modeling to analyze the large amounts of high-dimensional data and draw meaningful relationships from these system within an engineering context.

– What do you see as the biggest benefit of using 3D visualization methods for water research?
The 3D visualization method gave us a new perspective, beyond single-variate regressions, to determine how more than one predictor variables could interact to affect the performance of a system. The 3D visualization methods will allow water researchers to examine how two predictor variables could work in tandem to affect the performance of a treatment process.

– What is the most useful application for these membranes?
With its enhanced removal of organic compounds, this membrane can be potentially used for wastewater reuse, as wastewater often contains harmful organic contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, and endocrine disrupting compounds.

– In which upcoming conference or events may our readers meet you?
I will be at the upcoming 16th International Symposium for Microbial Ecology (ISME) in Montreal, Canada from August 21-26, 2016 with my PhD student and co-author on this recent article in ES:WR&T, Jacob Price.

– How do you spend your spare time?
I spend my spare time relaxing with my wife and our three dogs. We enjoy cooking and grilling at home and exploring the food and beer scene in Philadelphia.

– Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?
I love cooking and being in a kitchen, so I’d say a chef.

– Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?
Surround yourself with a strong support system of peers and mentors–they will help you gain confidence to navigate through difficult times and will always be there to champion and celebrate your successes.

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