Environmental Biotechnology Network

EBNet Working Groups

If you have an interesting in doing a specific activity or a number of activities with other EBNet members, we can provide funding for a Working Group. See the application form in our funding section.

Here are our current working groups, with more to follow. If you are interested in joining any of the working groups, contact EBNet or the working group leader.

  1. Aerobic granulation processes – Led by Dr Yongqiang Liu, University of Southampton. Aerobic granules technology is still relatively novel, with some fundamental knowledge gaps preventing its wider adoption and realisation of its numerous advantages in wastewater treatment. This working group aims to bring forward this technology with a number of directed activities.
  2. AI & ML in the Bioeconomy – Led by Dr Oliver Fisher and Prof. Rachel Gomes, University of Nottingham. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning represent digital innovation and solutions for tackling emerging challenges in bioprocesses, such as resource specification and availability, parameter dimensionality, nonlinearity, risk mitigation, and complex metabolisms.
  3. Anaerobic Digestion – Led by Dr Mark Walker, University of Hull. Through its activities, the working group will aim to engage stakeholders from trade bodies, industry, water utilities and government departments such as the EA, Defra, BEIS and others.
  4. Anaerobic Fermentation – Led by Dr Yue Zhang, University of Southampton. Mixed culture anaerobic fermentation (AF) is relatively new compared to anaerobic digestion (AD), although they are sometimes linked in terms of process and biochemistry. Recovery of organic products including fatty acids is the core task for AF, and it also offers potential for plant nutrient recovery at the same time.
  5. Biochars for Pollution Prevention – Led by Dr Meredith Barr, LSBU. The group will focus on the use of biochar for pollution prevention and environmental remediation – particularly as applied to microorganisms, either in terms of removing, killing, or preventing release of harmful microorganisms, or in terms of seeding bioremediative microorganisms for the purpose of pollutant degradation.
  6. Bioelectrochemical Systems Development for Environmental Technology – Led by Dr Sharon Velasquez Orta, Newcastle University. The group will promote education, collaboration and research by merging microbiology, engineering, material and biotechnology disciplines in the study of bioelectrochemical systems.
  7. Bioinformatics Training for Microbial Environmental Biotechnologies – Led by Professor James Chong, University of York. The group will focus on the development of online resources for researchers wishing to gain and develop skills in the analysis and visualisation of ‘omics datasets.
  8. Environmental Sensors and Wastewater Surveillance – Led by Dr Zhugen Yang, Cranfield University and Dr Martin Spurr, Newcastle University. The group aims to gather a multidisciplinary group of researchers with interests in new environmental sensors development. Focus areas include wastewater surveillance (including wastewater epidemiology), water, air, soil, food, healthcare, biosecurity and beyond.
  9. N2O emissions from Environmental Biotechnologies – Led by Professor Tom Curtis and Ben Allen, Newcastle University. This group aims to bring nitrous oxide (and subsequently methane) emissions from environmental biotechnologies onto a sound methodological footing – with a particular emphasis on quantifying the role of the key microorganisms.
  10. PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ – Led by Dr Tao Lyu, Cranfield University. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), known as ‘forever chemicals’, are extensively used in industrial and consumer applications due to their exceptional persistence properties. Attributed to the enduring characteristics, these substances have a detrimental impact on human health when their residues persist in the environment.
  11. Process Integration and Sustainability Assessment – Led by Dr Jhuma Sadhukhan, University of Surrey. This working group will identify problems in Pollutants & Media and Biosciences for Engineering – including global grand challenges and propose the ways to confront such challenges.
  12. Social Sciences and Environmental Biotechnology – The term ‘Environmental Biotechnology’ does not have universal recognition, nor do all users agree on what it encompasses; however, many see a value in the term.  The purpose of this Working Group is to examine the histories, contemporary dynamics and potential futures of the field of environmental biotechnology, drawing on insights from the social sciences.
  13. Early Career Researcher (ECR) – Led by Dr Anjali Jayakumar, Newcastle University. Through the ECR WG, we hope to create a supportive space for ECRs who specifically work in environmental biotechnology to support, inspire, and empower each other. This is an opportunity to bring together ECRs in the EBNet community who are geographically dispersed and spread amongst different universities, departments, and disciplines across the UK.

Are you a social scientist? EBNet are in conversation with a small group of people working in this topic area exploring ways to apply the social sciences to EB. Email us to be put in contact.