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Michelle Lorah

Dr. Michelle Lorah is a Research Hydrologist and has been with the U.S. Geological Survey in the Maryland Water Sciences Center since 1985, where she directs the Fate and Bioremediation Team.  Her research focuses on contaminant fate, microbial community dynamincs, and developing bioremediation methods for a wide range of organic and inorganic contaminants in groundwater...

My research is focused on determining natural attenuation processes in complex environments, such as wetlands, sediment, and fractured rock, with the goal of enhancing or augmenting these processes to obtain efficient remediation of contaminants. This research includes defining anaerobic and aerobic degradation processes, microbial community dynamics, and controlling environmental factors.  Much of my research has focused on chlorinated volatile organic compounds, including chlorinated methanes, ethenes, and benzenes, and development of bioremediation technologies for these widespread groundwater contaminants.  I have led the development of an anaerobic dechlorinating consortium (WBC-2) for degradation of chlorinated solvents and of bio-reactive barriers or caps for application in bottom sediment and groundwater discharge areas.  Additional research has included study of biodegradation of explosives compounds and perchlorate, natural attenuation of landfill leachate, and fate of nutrients in groundwater/surface-water discharge area.