Contact / Adress
Phone: +49 (0) 341 235 1759
Office: Building 1.0, Room 023
|2022 – Present||PhD candidate at UFZ and German Environment Agency (UBA) (Department of Water treatment)|
|May 2022 – Nov 2022||Research Assistant (Intern) at the United Nations University - Institute for Water Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), Ontario (Canada), Topic: State-of-the-art of the bottled water industry|
|Sep 2021 – Jan 2022||FPI Research Fellow; Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, CRETUS (Spain), Topic: Assessment of antibiotic biotransformation and antibiotic resistance abatement in High-rate activated sludge systems (HRAS)|
|2017 – 2021||M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Technische Universität (TU) Berlin; Focus: Environmental Biotechnology|
|2019 – 2020||Exchange semester at Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), Graduate programme in Environmental Science and Technology|
|2019||SCELSE Summer school; Singaporian Centre for Environmental Research (SCELSE; Singapore)|
|2013 – 2018||B.Sc. in Environmental Science and Engineering, TU Berlin; Focus: Environmental Microbiology|
My research activities are focused on the elimination of antibiotic resistance material within the multi-barrier concepts of drinking water resource protection. Wastewater treatment plants are not sufficiently equipped to fully eliminate antibiotics, some of their human metabolites and transformation products and hence discharge still considerable amounts into surface water bodies. Since surface water infiltrates naturally (bank filtration, BF) or engineered (managed aquifer recharge, MAR) into aquifers, these constituents pose a risk of antibiotic resistance propagation to groundwater as highly vulnerable drinking water resource.
We postulate that microbial processes of various redox zones play an essential role in the fate and transformation of groundwater-relevant antibiotics (sulfonamides, (fluoro)quinolones, macrolides) and their human metabolites. Hence, we are applying mass spectrometry methods to investigate their and the fate of their transformation products in the process sequence of bank filtration (aerobic, anoxic) and groundwater passage (anaerobic) in lab-scale and pilot-plant size sediment columns. Additionally, we aim to employ molecular (16S-rRNA sequencing), biochemical (in-vitro activity assays) and shot-gun proteomics analysis to identify transforming organisms and proteins. Moreover, we are investigating the fate of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) carrying plasmids and naturally-isolated multi antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARBs) of the group of extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producing organisms in various water purification processes. Thereby, we investigate the retention of both, ARG-plasmids and ARBs, in slow sand filtration, bank filtration and a pilot-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) by means of cultivation-based, molecularbiological (qPCR) and biochemical (electro transformation) tools.
Jun 2020 – Jul 2021: Research Assistant at UFZ; Topic: Anaerobic biotransformation of the sulfonamide antibiotic Sulfamethoxazole (SMX) by Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough
Apr 2019 – Jun 2019: Research Assistant at UFZ; Project: Investigation of the anoxic biotransformation of the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole (SMX) by bacterial mixed and pure cultures
Feb 2017 – Mar 2019: Student Teaching Assisstant at Dep. of Environmental Microbiology (TU Berlin)
Nov 2015 – Jan 2017: Student Research Assistant, Dep. Ecological Impact Research and Ecotoxicology (TU Berlin)
- Bouhlel, Z., Köpke, J., Mina, M., Smakhtin, V. (2023):
Global bottled water industry: a review of impacts and trends
United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU INWEH), Hamilton, 41 pp.
full text (url)