My current research focuses on the design, development and operation of bioreactors in unique configurations for a wide range of culturing scenarios. The bioreactors include CSTRs (continuous stirred tank reactors), in batch, and continuous flow chemostat and turbidostat modes, PFRs (plug flow reactors), and combinations thereof. The systems are unique in their capability to cultivate under anaerobic conditions and handle hydrogen sulfide generated by sulfate reducing bacteria, and safely deliver hydrogen for hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria. Other projects involving bioreactor development include simulating waste-water treatment reactors for studying the potential gene transfer between genetically-engineered microorganisms (GEMs) and domestic activated sludge microbial communities, as a platform for risk assessment of the use of GEMs in biofuel production.
My previous research areas related to the physics of multi-phase flow in porous media and fractured rock, and biological interactions with flow. I have worked with a commercially available multi-channel high-throughput microfluidic system to study biofilm formation in response to changing chemical conditions. I have also worked on the application of geophysical methods to characterize and monitor contaminated aquifers, focusing on laboratory measurements to correlate geophysical attributes with aquifer properties of interest, such as non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) contamination, lithology and hydraulic conductivity.