Contaminant Biology

Applied Microbiology

Filter Total Items: 19
Date published: June 11, 2020
Status: Completed

U.S. Geological Survey Microbiologist Selected as an American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer

Dale Warren Griffin, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) environmental public-health microbiologist, was selected as a Waksman Foundation Distinguished Lecturer for the 2020–22 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Lecture Series. 

Date published: February 10, 2020
Status: Completed

Satellite Data Used to Estimate and Rank Cyanobacterial Bloom Magnitude in Florida and Ohio Lakes—Developing Tools to Protect Human and Wildlife Health from Cyanotoxin Exposure

Cyanobacterial bloom magnitude during 2003–11 was quantified and ranked in Florida and Ohio lakes with a newly developed modelling tool that allows for the use of multiple satellite data sources and user-defined thresholds. This tool was designed to identify the magnitude of algal blooms, but one metric alone cannot adequately represent the severity of a bloom of interest in terms of toxicity...

Contacts: Keith A Loftin, Ph.D., Sachi Mishra
Date published: September 26, 2018
Status: Active

Can There be Unintended Benefits when Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure is Upgraded?

Science from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other entities has shown that a mixture of natural and synthetic estrogens and other similar chemicals are discharged from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to streams and rivers.

USGS and University of Colorado hydrologists, chemists, geologists, and biologists studied the chemistry and biology of Boulder Creek downstream of Boulder ...

Date published: September 24, 2018
Status: Active

Are Naturally Occurring Algal Toxins in Water Resources a Health Hazard?

A growing number of human gastrointestinal, respiratory, dermatologic, and neurologic effects, as well as dog and livestock illnesses and deaths, in the United States have been linked to exposures to algal blooms in recreational lakes and stock ponds.

Some of the blooms contain cyanobacteria, which have the potential to produce cyanotoxins in freshwater systems. However, the connection...

Date published: September 24, 2018
Status: Active

What is the Chemical and Microbial Content of Our Tap Waters?

Safe Drinking Water Act compliance addresses the safety of public-supply water systems. The composition of public-supply drinking water is generally only tested at the treatment facility, and not at the tap in homes and businesses after traveling through the water distribution system. Only lead and copper are tested at a subset of residential and other taps.

Testing of water in private...

Date published: September 11, 2018
Status: Active

Food Resources Science Team

The team studies the movement of toxicants and pathogens associated with food production through watersheds and aquifers, to water resources where exposure can occur. That information is used to understand if there are adverse effects upon exposure and to develop decision tools to protect health.

Date published: September 11, 2018
Status: Active

Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Science Team

The team studies toxicants and pathogens in water resources from their sources, through watersheds, aquifers, and infrastructure to human and wildlife exposures. That information is used to develop decision tools that protect human and wildlife health.

Date published: September 11, 2018
Status: Active

Toxins and Harmful Algal Blooms Science Team

The team develops advanced methods to study factors driving algal toxin production, how and where wildlife or humans are exposed to toxins, and ecotoxicology.  That information is used to develop decision tools to understand if toxin exposure leads to adverse health effects in order to protect human and wildlife health....

Date published: September 11, 2018
Status: Active

Immunomodulation Science Team

The Immunomodulation Integrated Science Team focuses on contaminant and pathogen exposures in the environment that might influence the immune systems of wildlife, livestock, and companion animals. In collaboration with public-health officials, the Team also addresses potential human-health risks stemming from similar exposures.  If actual risks are identified, this Team will inform...

Date published: September 11, 2018
Status: Active

Disaster Science

Natural (coastal storms, wildfires, floods) and human-induced (structural failures, building collapse, oil, and/or chemical spills) disasters occur every year in the United States. Minimizing loss of human life and damages to personal property and infrastructure is the focus of most disaster response and preparedness activities by federal, state, and local communities. However, the potential...

Contacts: Mathew Struckhoff
Date published: August 30, 2018
Status: Active

Microbial Biogeochemistry — Menlo Park, California

About the Research

The Environmental Health Program collaborates with microbiologists at the Microbial Biogeochemistry Laboratory to develop and apply innovative methods to measure key microbial processes. These methods are used to better understand how major biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and iron) interact with and control the speciation and fate of...

Date published: August 29, 2018
Status: Active

Bacteriological Research — Lansing, Michigan

About the Research

The Environmental Health Program collaborates with microbiologists at the Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory (MI-BaRL).  A wide array of traditional and modern molecular approaches are used to evaluate microbial pathogens and antimicrobial resistance pathways in the environment. The scientists use these approaches to advance the...

Contacts: Carrie Givens