CIV_ENV 443-0: Microbial Ecology

Quarter Offered

Spring : TF 4:00-5:20 ; Wells


This course will provide students with an overview of microbial ecology—that is, the study of interactions between microorganisms and the environment—and how complex microbial communities are linked function and stability of both engineered and natural systems.  A parallel goal of this course is to explore ways in which engineers are leveraging new findings in microbial ecology to enable environmental and public health protection coupled to recovery of valuable resources (energy, clean water, nutrients, etc.) from low-value societal “waste”  (wastewater, food waste, waste gas streams, etc.)  Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to: biodiversity of the microbial world; genes, genomes, and function; how ‘omics’ methods have revolutionized molecular microbial ecology; microbial diversity and ecosystem function, including microbes as drivers of biogeochemical cycles; microbial community assembly, succession, and population dynamics; biofilms and other modes of microbial life; microbial communities in the engineered water cycle; bioenergy production by mixed microbial communities; microbes and the food-energy-water nexus; and biomaterial production by microbial consortia.

Course Outline, Outcomes and Goals