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Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology Laboratory

The Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology (EMB) Laboratory is engaged in research and education in the applied microbiology area as it relates to biological processes of environmental engineering. Specific areas of interest include public health microbiology (microbial water quality and microbial source tracking) and biological processes for waste management (anaerobic processes and biofuel from waste).

Led by Dr. Metin Duran, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, members of the EMB Laboratory work on a variety of research projects in the broad field of biological processes of environmental engineering. The principle goal is to optimize engineered processes for maximum microbial growth and metabolism and to understand and quantify behavior of microorganisms in natural and engineered environments.

Lab facilities include:

An interdisciplinary facility that provides support across all engineering fields engaged in molecular and cellular bioengineering research and teaching. The instrument inventory in the Core Laboratory includes:

  • Applied Biosystems 7300 RT-PCR system for quantitative, real-time PCR analysis
  • Shimadzu BioSpec-mini UV-Vis spectrophotometer optimized  for rapid quantification of RNA, DNA, and proteins
  • NanoDrop spectrophotometer for quantification of RNA and DNA in microliter sample volumes
  • Microscopy suite with a Leica DM2000 upright microscope and a Leica DMI3000 inverted microscope, equipped with epifluorescent illumination and a Q-Imaging Retiga-SRV cooled CCD camera for imaging of cells and molecular probes
  • Eppendorf 5417R refrigerated high-speed mini centrifuge
  • Milli-Q Biocell water purification system that supplies RNAase free water
  • Beckman-Coulter Vi-CELLTM cell viability analyzer
  • Molecular Dynamics Gemini EM fluorescence plate reader
  • Shimadzu HPLC with UV-Vis detector
  • Sonicator for cell lysis
  • Ultra-low freezer

This shared facility provides analytical instrument support for those engaged in environmental engineering research. The equipment inventory includes:

  • Hewlett Packard gas chromatograph with mass spectrophotometer detector (GC/MS) with ion and electron ionization capabilities
  • 2 Hewlett Packard 6890 gas chromatographs with flame ionization, thermal conductivity, and electron capture detectors
  • Dionex DX-600 IC/HPLC with electrochemical, photodiode array, and tandem mass spectrophotometer-mass spectrophotometer (MS/MS) detectors
  • Spectronic Genesys 5 variable wavelength scanning UV/Vis spectrophotometer

Used for teaching undergraduate environmental engineering laboratory courses and research, the lab has a 110-ft2 environmental room maintained at 35 ±2oC for research related to anaerobic processes. A strong analytical infrastructure has been established to incorporate several molecular biology tools, including PCR, FAME, and gel electrophoresis, into its research projects, particularly in the microbial source tracking and the microbial community structure-function analyses areas.


Dr. Metin Duran

Dr. Metin Duran
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Phone: 610-519-4963