We are applying bioengineering skills to a range of environmental problems, such as foaming in wastewater treatment. We are also applying synthetic biology for environmental sensing.
Foaming causes significant operational problems during wastewater treatment and poses a risk to human health and the environment. We are exploring a new low cost approach using naturally occurring bacteriophage to reduce the number of microbes responsible for foaming. The project involves three Australian water companies and collaborators at La Trobe University.
We are also looking at the signalling pathways and systems that allow bacteria to detect and degrade environmental contaminants. We are interested in applying synthetic biology and metabolic engineering approaches to develop a proof of concept sensor that may be applied in the field to detect and degrade environmental contaminants. This project involves collaborators in the Defence Science Institute and researchers at The University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and Rutgers University.