Zhe Cheng


Zhe Cheng
PhD Student

Department of Microbial Biotechnology
Working Group Microbiology of Anaerobic Systems
Helmholtz Centre for
Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany

in cooperation with

Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ)
Torgauer Str. 116, 04347 Leipzig, Germany

Phone +49 341 6025 2111


CV / Scientific Career

Since October 2020

PhD student

Topic: Fate and the effects of antibiotics and antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs) in anaerobic digestion systems

FATE Project: https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=46839

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Hauke Harms, Dr. Marcell Nikolausz, Dr. Jochen Müller

Department Environmental Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ in cooperation with the Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ)

2018 - 2020

Master of Engineering in Global Engineering for Development, Environment and Society (GEDES)

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering, School of Environment and Society

Master Thesis: The control of acid accumulation in methane fermentation under overloaded condition (in Nakasaki lab)

2014 – 2017

Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science

College of Health and Human Science, Colorado State University, USA

Current Research Interests

Antibiotic resistance is one of the ten most important threats to global health according to WHO. Animal agriculture is a crucial sector using antibiotics. Animal manure is a common substrate for large-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) systems. Depending on the medical treatment of animals the manure is often contaminated with antibiotics and antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs).

It was pointed out that AD systems can be potential reservoirs for multi-resistant bacteria considering the continuous load of antibiotics and various resistant bacteria from livestock manure. On the contrary, we believe that the survival of resistant bacteria from livestock can be reduced in a well-managed AD process. We hypothesize that the management of operational parameters and the application of various post-treatments can enhance the degradation of antibiotics and effectively reduce the abundance of ARGs.