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Monday, 06 April 2009 00:00

Andreas NockerAndreas is the main editor and driving force of this website. He received his education at The University of Tübingen (B.S. in Biochemistry) and ETH Zürich (M.S. in Molecular Biology; Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology). After a postgraduate study in Economics he moved on to a postdoctoral tenure at the Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation at the University of West Florida, followed by a position as Assistant Research Professor at the Center for Biofilm Engineering in Bozeman, Montana, where he initiated this website. He gained subsequently valuable experience in industry research while working with the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). His main research interests are of applied nature and include (but are not limited to) microbial viability assessment, molecular detection of microorganisms, and biofilm research. He is currently working as Assistant Professor at Cranfield University, UK.

Anne CamperAnne is a Professor of Civil Engineering, Adjunct Professor of Microbiology and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering at Montana State University.  She is has been associated with the Center for Biofilm Engineering for over 20 years.  Her primary research area has been bacteria in drinking water, including biofilms in distribution systems and biological filters, regrowth in distribution systems, nitrification in chloraminated water, disinfection of organisms in water, and detection of indicator organisms.  She is also engaged in fundamental research on biofilms, including the physiology of biofilm organisms, utilization of natural organic matter, and the microbial ecology of mixed population biofilms.

Charles GerbaChuck Gerba is a professor in the Departments of Soil, Water and Environmental Science (College of Agriculture), and Epidemiology and Biostatistics (College of Public Health) at the University of Arizona. He obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Miami, Florida and was a faculty member in the Department. of Virology and Epidemiology at Baylor College of Medicine from 1974 to 1981. He conducts research the transmission of pathogens through the environment. His recent research encompasses the transmission of pathogens by water, food and fomites; fate of pathogens in land applied wastes; development of new disinfectants; domestic microbiology and microbial risk assessment. He has been an author on more than 500 articles including several books in environmental microbiology and pollution science. He is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, Society for Risk Analysis and American Society for Microbiology. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Water and Health sponsored by the World Health Organization. In 1998 he received the A. P. Black Award from the American Water Works Association for outstanding contributions to water science and in 1996 he received the McKee medal from the Water Environment Federation for outstanding contributions to groundwater protection. He received the 1999 Award of Excellence in Environmental Health from National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Deise Pasetto FalcãoProfessional details:

  • Microbiologist, educator, researcher.
  • Pharmacy degree at Faculdade de Farmácia e Odontologia de Araraquara, SP, Brazil in 1961.
  • Specialized in Medical Microbiology at the Institute of Microbiology, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1966-1967 .
  • PhD in Science-Microbiology, Faculdade de Farmácia e Odontologia de Araraquara, SP, Brazil, 1969.
  • Guest Researcher in the field of Clinical Microbiology – Enterobacteriaceae, at CDC, Atlanta, USA, when initiated the study and research with Yersinia, 1974-1975.
  • Specialization in Yersinia at Pasteur Institute, Paris, France, 1980. After the return from the Pasteur Institute, created and coordinated, from 1980 to 2005, the Brazilian Reference Laboratory in Yersinia other than Y. pestis at the Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Araraquara, UNESP, by indication of Prof. H.H. Mollaret, director of the International Center on Yersina, WHO, Pasteur Institute, France. On retirement, in 2005, the Reference Laboratory was transferred to Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto-USP, under the management of Dr. Juliana Pfrimer Falcão.
  • Microbiology Professor and Researcher from 1964 to 1989, mainly at Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Araraquara, UNESP,SP,Brazil.
  • Researcher at Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Araraquara, UNESP, from 1990 to 2005. 
  • Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Basic and Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences since 2005.
  • The major field of the research throughout has been in medical, food and environmental Microbiology, with special focus on Enterobacteriaecae, particularly Yersinia  species other than Y. pestis.

Elena SoriaElena Soria graduated in Biology at the University of Alicante, Spain (1998) and got a fellowship for the enrollment in the Molecular Biotechnology Postgraduate Program. She received the PhD degree in Biology from University of Alicante in 2006 for her work on the role of DNA structure on gene expression of microorganisms adapted to high salt environments. She worked for several years (2002-2006) as an assistant lecturer in the Microbiology Department at the University of Alicante. She is currently working as a researcher in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology at LABAQUA (an environmental testing laboratory in Spain). Her experience over 10 years is primary focused on microbiology and molecular biology methods for the detection and quantification of bacteria in the environment (water, air, soil, and sludge). Her main research areas are waterborne pathogens detection, water quality control, molecular detection methods, proficiency testing schemes organization, development of microbiological reference materials (for culture isolation and PCR), and miniaturization of microbiological tests with emphasis on microfluidics. 

Eric VillegasEric Villegas received his PhD in Parasitology and Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine.  He went on to do postdoctoral fellowship in the Immunology division at University of California, Berkeley where he worked on identifying novel factors regulating host-parasite interactions. Dr. Villegas then switched his research focus from immunology to environmental microbiology and joined the US Environmental Protection Agency where he currently works on waterborne protozoa.  The major focus of his group's research is on understanding the biology, prevalence, and diversity of Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Toxoplasma gondii, Cyclospora cayetanensis, Microsporidia, and Helminth.  His long term goal is to develop effective methods to detect and inactivate human pathogens contaminating the water supply.

Contact information:
Tel: +1 513.569.7017
Fax: +1 513.569.7117
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Eugene RiceEugene Rice has been a microbiologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for over thirty years. His research interests center on the detection and inactivation of indicator organisms and waterborne pathogens including bio-terror agents. He has been the recipient of the Bronze and Gold Medals awarded by the U.S. EPA.  He has served on the editorial board of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and is a member of the joint editorial board for Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. He is a member of the American Public Health Association, the American Society for Microbiology, and the American Water Works Association.

Francine Marciano-CabralFrancine Marciano-Cabral received her B.S. from the College of White Plains, an M.S. from Villanova University and a Ph.D. from University of Connecticut. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Marciano-Cabral joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and began working on various aspects of the biology of Naegleria fowleri amoebae. 

The major focus of the lab’s research is on the free-living amoebae that cause fatal CNS infections in humans, including Naegleria fowleri, several species of Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia mandrillaris.  This work has involved studies on the pathogenesis of these infections as well as environmental studies to determine the presence of the amoebae in various habitats.  A long term goal of our laboratory is to elucidate the factors that determine what makes a free-living amoeba pathogenic.  We are currently studying environmental causes that may contribute to the presence of the amoebae in specific habitats.

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Joseph O. FalkinhamJoseph O. Falkinham, III received his B.A. (Bacteriology, 1964) and Ph.D. (Microbiology, 1969) from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Falkinham served in the US Air Force from 1969 through 1972, directing hospital clinical laboratories. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Roy Curtiss at the University of Alabama Medical Center (1972-1974), Dr. Falkinham joined the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech.

The major focus of the lab’s research has been on the human and animal pathogen, Mycobacterium avium.  That work has led to identification of sources and the genetic and physiologic features that are determinants of their distribution, transmission, and persistence in the environment. Current investigations involve identification of factors that permit M. avium to survive in the absence of oxygen, adapt to growth in biofilms, resist disinfectants and antibiotics, and grow in phagocytic protozoa and amoebae.  A long term goal of the laboratory is to describe the genetic basis of colonial switching that affects antimicrobial susceptibilities and virulence. In 2003, Dr. Falkinham received the Gardner Middlebrook Award for his contributions to Mycobacteriology.

Contact details:

Joseph O. Falkinham, III, Ph.D.
Professor of Microbiology
Department of Biology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0406
United States of America

Phone    1-540-231-5931
FAX       1-540-231-7126
E-mail     This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Juliana P. FalcãoJuliana P. Falcão graduated from Pharmaceutical Science School of São Paulo State University- UNESP in Brazil (1997) and obtained the Master degree in Applied Microbiology (2000) from the same University. She got her Ph.D. in Science with focus on Pathogenic Bioagents (2004) and did her Postdoctoral in Genetics of Microorganisms (2006) at Medical School of Ribeirão Preto of University of São Paulo-USP in Brazil. Also, during her Ph.D. she did a 10 months training program in Molecular Biology as a Junior Researcher Fellow at Southwestern Medical Center, University of Texas in United States (2003).

She holds the position of Assistant Professor of Bacteriology and Microbiology at Pharmaceutical Science School of Ribeirão Preto (Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto), University of São Paulo-USP, Brazil. Since 2006, she is the responsible for the Brazilian Reference Laboratory on Yersinia spp. other than Yersinia pestis. It is worth mentioning that the Yersinia spp. Reference Laboratory was previously under the responsibility of Dr. Deise Pasetto Falcão from 1980 to 2005.

The major field of her laboratory research has been in molecular epidemiology, identification, taxonomy, virulence and genomics of bacteria of clinical importance, with special focus on Yersinia spp. other than Y. pestis.

Keya Sen

Dr. Keya Sen obtained her Ph.D. in Biomedical sciences from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine of New York University. She went on to do a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley where she studied protein targeting and sorting in prokaryotes, which was followed by a study of bacterial pathogenicity at SUNY, Buffalo. She has been with the Federal Government since 1999 and with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 2001. Dr. Sen’s area of expertise includes development and validation of molecular methods for identification of bacterial pathogens such as Aeromonas, Y. enterocolitica, H. pylori and E. coli O157:H7 from matrices such as blood and water as well as determining their pathogenicity. Dr. Sen is the recipient of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientific achievement award for excellence in analytical science and an EPA Bronze medal for development of a guidance manual for PCR laboratory competency. An author of several articles and a reviewer for microbiology journals, she most recently co-edited a book on Environmental Microbiology, current technology and water applications.

Lucy RobertsonBSc (hons) in biochemistry from University of London (1986) and PhD from University of Glasgow (1989) concerned with interactions between mammalian nutritional physiology and infection with parasitic nematodes.

Between 1990 and 1996 worked with Huw’s Smith’s team at the Scottish Parasite Diagnostic Laboratory, developing an interest in waterborne protozoa, particularly Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

Current position: Associate Professor in the parasitology laboratory at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science in Oslo, with a continuing interest in Cryptosporidium and Giardia, as well as other parasites, particularly those with foodborne/waterborne transmission routes.

Luis ActisLuis A. Actis received his BS (1975) and PhD (1982) in Biochemistry from the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina.  After postdoctoral work in the Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, he moved to Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where he rose through the ranks to the position of Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology.  The primary focus of his research program is the study of iron acquisition and biofilm formation by the human bacterial pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii.  This versatile pan-resistant pathogen has emerged as a serious threat not only to civilian compromised patients but also to military personnel wounded in the Middle East.

Lynne LeachLynne began working on this project during her post-doctoral time at the Center for Biofilm Engineering (Montana State University, Bozeman). Her research in Montana addressed drinking water quality in distribution systems with a special emphasis on organisms involved in nitrogen cycling and molecular detection of microbes that degrade chlorinated disinfection byproducts. She is currently working at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.



Mª Adela YáñezMª Adela Yáñez graduated in Biology at the University of Alicante (1997) and got a Leonardo grant to work at the University of Ghent (Belgium) during a period of 1 year. The main line of investigation during this year was the detection of aromatic compounds in filamentous fungi using Chromatography and SPI.  She obtained her PhD degree in Biochemistry with focus on taxonomy and phylogeny in Aeromonas based on molecular methods (2004) at The University Miguel Hernández (Elche, Spain). She holds the position of researcher in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology at LABAQUA (an environmental testing laboratory in Spain). Her experience over 12 years is primary focused on microbiology and molecular biology in the environmental testing analysis of water, air, soil, and sludges. Her main research areas are: Legionella pneumophila, aerobiology, molecular biology (mainly qPCR and sequencing), proficiency testing scheme and development of reference materials for culture isolation and PCR.

Mark BurrMark Burr received his PhD in 1996 from the University of Arizona Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science where is thesis topic was DNA fingerprinting for microbial source tracking of Salmonella isolates in marine and freshwater sites in and around Honolulu. His postdoctoral research was conducted at the Center for Biofilm Engineering and Montana State University where he studied the ecology of pathogenic bacteria in drinking water treatment.  He is currently an Assistant Research Professor at the Center for Biofilm Engineering where his research interests are related to the microbial ecology of constructed wetlands and other wastewater treatment systems, especially focusing on the nitrogen cycle.

Mark LeChevallierDr. Mark W. LeChevallier received his Ph.D. in microbiology from Montana State University in 1985. He is currently the Director of Innovation & Environmental Stewardship at American Water. Dr. LeChevallier’s research areas have included bacterial regrowth, disinfection of biofilms, corrosion, bacterial nutrients, AOC measurement techniques, biological treatment, Mycobacterium, microbial recovery and identification, modeling and impact of pressure transients on water quality, and detection, treatment and survival of Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Dr. LeChevallier was named by Public Works magazine as a 2005 Trendsetter to “recognize leaders in the public works community who have defined policy, brought their community or an issue into the spotlight, or set the standard within the industry.”

Contact information:
Tel:  856-346-8261
Fax:  856-782-3603
e-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Michael GrazMichael Graz divides his time between consulting, teaching and spending time exploring the great outdoors with his wife. He received his Ph.D. in Anatomy and Human Biology from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) in 1995, and his second Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 2002 from the University of Port Elizabeth.

For the past 17 years he has been working in various capacities in the food and pharmaceutical industries and academia ranging from CEO of an enzyme extraction business to General Manager of an aquaculture start up company in Chile to Head of Group Quality Assurance and Group Technical for a frozen food company to technical and environmental consultant to lecturer and head of a research unit. He has consulted in the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Monaco, Namibia, Chile, Argentina, Vietnam, Thailand and China.

In 2009, Dr Graz was admitted to the status of Chartered Biologist and elected as Fellow of the Society of Biology.

Sarah StaggsSarah Staggs received her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from Miami University where she was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Internship to study the synergistic effects of cytokines on immunity to Chlamydia trachomatis. Dr. Staggs then obtained her Ph.D. at Northwestern University where she studied the role of interleukin 6 in B cell development and differentiation using a transgenic mouse model. Currently, Dr. Staggs is an ORISE postdoctoral fellow at the US Environmental Protection Agency. The main focus of her work is to develop molecular methods to detect protozoa in water matrices. Additionally she is developing a molecular detection method using shellfish to assess occurrences of emerging waterborne pathogens in fresh and marine aquatic environments. 

Steven PercivalProfessor Steven Percival qualified from the University of Leeds, UK with a PhD in microbiology and biofilms. He also holds a post graduate certificate in education,  masters degrees in Public Health (University of Liverpool, UK) and Medical Microbiology (University of Manchester, UK). Additionally Steven holds the positions of fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences and adjunct Professor of Medical Microbiology at the School of Medicine, University of West Virginia, USA. He has held a number of senior positions in industry and academia and senior clinical microbiology  fellowships at the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, USA and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, Leeds, UK. He has studied and directed research in many areas of public health microbiology over the last 18 years. He has provided extensive research support and consultancy to a number of governmental departments and companies world-wide in areas related to biofilms and public health microbiology. He has published widely in peer reviewed journals, book chapters, poster abstracts, reports and has authored and edited four text books in waterborne diseases, biofilms and health.

Stewart ClarkStewart Clark is currently the Biological Safety Officer for the University of Southampton, where he is involved in preparing policy, advising on a range of health, safety and security matters associated with biological research including genetic modification and working with dangerous pathogens, and providing training to various levels of University personnel. Dr Clark is a recent graduate of Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, USA where he obtained his PhD in Microbiology. During his tenure in Montana, Dr Clark was based at the Center for Biofilm Engineering, the renowned hub for biofilm research. It was here that his passion for multidisciplinary collaborative projects grew. For his efforts in promoting excellence in biofilm research, education and technology transfer, Dr Clark was awarded the W.G. Characklis Award for Most Outstanding Student in 2007.

Dr Clark’s research interests have migrated from estuarine ecology to cyanobacterial blooms and biological wastewater to the safety of drinking water. His experience includes the establishment of the Advanced Integrated Ponding System for biological wastewater treatment in Grahamstown, South Africa, the effective management of the Drinking Water Biofilms laboratory at the Center for Biofilm Engineering in Bozeman, Montana and the design and implementation of undergraduate university courses in microbiology. Dr Clark has extensive working knowledge of molecular biology as it relates to pathogen diagnostics and microbial ecology but also has training in industrial biotechnology and environmental engineering.

When he is not in his role as Biological Safety Officer, Dr Clark enjoys the company of friends hiking or cross-country skiing in the majestic mountains of the Pacific Northwest or enjoying the waves on the South African coast.

Vicente CatalánVicente Catalán is the head of the Research and Development Department in LABAQUA, an environmental testing laboratory in Spain. He performed his PhD in Biology at the University of Valencia (Spain) focused on the Herpes simplex Type 1 gene expression. He has experience for over 20 years in microbiology and molecular biology and 13 years of experience as microbiology adjunct professor at the University of Alicante (Spain). He is specialist in environmental testing in water, air, soil and sludges focused on microbiology and molecular biology, with a productive scientific career and numerous publications in specialized international journals. He has extensive experience in the validation of microbiological methods to be accredited by national and international bodies following the ISO 17025. His main research areas are: Legionella pneumophila, aerobiology, molecular biology (mainly qPCR and sequencing), proficiency testing scheme and development of reference materials for culture isolation and PCR.

Zia BukhariDr. Zia Bukhari obtained his Ph.D. in Parasitology from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK (1995). He is Senior Environmental Scientist at American Water. His research interests include: Feasibility studies for full scale application of UV technology in treatment of drinking water, determining the impact of environmental contamination with existing and emerging pathogens (i.e. protozoan parasites  and E. coli  O157:H7), epidemiological investigations and microbial  methods development/evaluation for water, wastewater and water reuse applications. Dr. Bukhari’s research also focuses on water security issues, particularly early warning systems, use of hydraulic modeling for emergency response planning, incident responsiveness and characterization.

Contact information:
Tel:  856-309-4554
Fax:  856-782-3603
e-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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