Microbial Community Dynamics and Functional Resilience in Denitrifying Bioreactors

Denitrifying bioreactors as nitrate mitigation strategies hold promise for improving water quality in agricultural watersheds by effectively removing nitrate through stimulation of microbial denitrification. A better understanding of microbial community structure and bioreactor function is required in order to optimize reactor design and management. Because functional responses of microbial communities can vary strongly depending on temperature, hydraulic residence time (HRT), and bioavailability of organic carbon, an understanding of the fundamental links between population dynamics, functional resilience and community interactions in denitrifying bioreactors will improve our ability to predict and increase the stability of reactor performance. This project is conducted in collaboration with the laboratory of Prof. Bruce Wilson and Lori Krider in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering.

Project Staff: 

Prof. Sebastian Behrens, Prof. Bruce Wilson, Lori Krider, and Nadine Hackshaw