Fred and Claire Sauer Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of California, Berkeley
Faculty Scientist, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lisa Alvarez-Cohen received her Bachelors Degree in Engineering and Applied Science from Harvard University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and Science from Stanford University. Her research areas include biotransformation and fate of environmental water contaminants, environmental microbiology and ecology, bioremediation, biological wastewater nutrient removal, and application of molecular and isotopic techniques for studying environmental microbial communities. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental microbiology, environmental engineering, and biological process engineering, and has co-authored the textbook Environmental Engineering Science. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She has won a number of awards including the China 1,000 Talents National Award, the ASCE Simon W. Freese Environmental Engineering Award, the W. M. Keck Foundation Award for Engineering Teaching Excellence, and the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award.
Biology of Emerging Contaminants: Do They Eventually Emerge?
Societal demand for new products promotes the production and release of new chemicals. Additionally, population growth and climate change have produced increased demand on water resources, resulting in greater reliance on direct and indirect water reuse. Advances in analytical chemistry enables us to detect environmental contaminants with increasing sensitivity, allowing us to discover new families of emerging contaminants that threaten our water resources. Understanding the biotransformation potential of emerging contaminants has been a challenge that’s been greatly assisted recently by means of molecular tools. This talk will describe lessons learned and research aimed at discovering the biodegradation potential and pathways for a variety of important “emerging contaminants”, including MTBE, I,4-dioxane, NDMA, PBDEs and PFASs.