Members of the Spormann Laboratory (Present)


Alfred M. Spormann
Principal Investigator
Chemical Engineering and Civil/Environmental Engineering

Janus Haagensen
Research Assistant
February, 2008
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Phenotypic diversity and bistability in Vibrio cholerae


Anutthaman Parthasarathy
Postdoctoral Fellow
October, 2012
Civil & Environmental Engineering
I am a biochemist by training. My specialisation is in anaerobic enzymology and metabolism. i have worked on amino acid catabolism in mesophiles and extremophiles, protein purification, protein spectroscopy, CoA biochemistry and hexane degradation from 2005-12. At the Spormann lab, i am working on the heterologous overproduction of the vcrA (reductive dehalogenase) in E. coli with the aim of obtaining pure protein for crystallisation trials.

Joerg Deutzmann
Postdoctoral Fellow
October, 2012
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Bioelectrosynthesis
Enrichments on Cathodes


Anne-Kristin Kaster
Postdoctoral Fellow
March, 2011
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Reductive dehalogenation


Jessica Grembi
PhD Student
January, 2014
Civil and Environmental Engineering

My interests lay at the intersection of microbial ecology and international public health.  My research focuses on the effects of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) intertventions on the development of a 'healthy' commensal gut community for children in low- and middle-income countries that allows optimal absorption of nutrients by the host.  Particularly, I'm interested in the potential microbial dysbiosis caused by a subclinincal condition effecting the absorptive capacity and permeability of the small intestine (environmental enteropathy), understanding the root causes of the pathology, and how these effects might be mitigated through low-cost WASH interventions. 


Maeva Fincker
PhD Student
April, 2012
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Ann Lesnefsky
PhD Student
April, 2011
Environmental Engineering

Bioelectrosynthesis


Koshlan Mayer-Blackwell
PhD Student
October, 2010
Civil And Environmental Engineering

Idiosyncratic combinations of reductive dehalogenase (rdh) genes are a distinguishing genomic feature of closely related organohalogen-respiring bacteria. This feature can be used to deconvolute the population structure of organohalogen-respiring bacteria in complex environments and to identify relevant subpopulations, which is important for tracking interspecies dynamics needed for successful site remediation. Here we report the development of a nanoliter qPCR platform to identify organohalogen-respiring bacteria and populations by quantifying major orthologous reductive dehalogenase gene groups. The qPCR assays can be operated in parallel within a 5184-well nanoliter qPCR (nL-qPCR) chip at a single annealing temperature and buffer condition. We developed a robust bioinformatics approach to select from thousands of computationally proposed primer pairs those that are specific to individual rdh gene groups and compatible with a single amplification condition. We validated hundreds of the most selective qPCR assays and examined their performance in a trichloroethene-degrading bioreactor, revealing population structures as well as their unexpected shifts in abundance and community dynamics.

 

Nanoliter qPCR Platform for Highly Parallel, Quantitative Assessment of Reductive Dehalogenase Genes and Populations of Dehalogenating Microorganisms in Complex Environments

 
Koshlan Mayer-Blackwell †, Mohammad F. Azizian ‡, Christina Machak §, Elena Vitale , Giovanna Carpani , Francesca de Ferra , Lewis Semprini ‡, and Alfred M. Spormann *†

 


Holly Sewell
PhD Student
September, 2010
Civil & Environmental Engineering

External electron transfer mechanisms for cathodic electron uptake


Simone Haag
Visiting Researcher
September, 2013