The Environmental Biotechnology lab, led by Dr. Heidi Gough, is located in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. The group studiesĀ biological processes in environmental engineering.

Our research is founded on the principles that natural biologic transformations can inform environmental engineering design. Our projects apply the fundamental understanding of natural processes toward improved treatment of wastewater, contaminated soils, and solid wastes to allow safe wastewater reuse, contamination elimination, and energy recovery.

Recent discoveries have included previously unknown bacterial species capable of removing contaminants from wastewater to extremely low concentrations, development of new technologies for removing trace organic contaminants (TOrCs) from wastewater (patent pending) and enhanced methane production during co-digestion.

The lab applies combinations of traditional culture-based aerobic and anaerobic microbiology, field work, laboratory reactor hypothesis testing, and modern molecular methods including whole genome sequencing, metagenomics, viromics, proteomics, metabolomics, targeted-population quantitative PCR, and microbial community fingerprinting. The long-term goals of this research are to work toward environmental sustainability through wastewater treatment and contaminant bioremediation.