Dr CHAN Siew Herng
Research Fellow

My current work in SCELSE focuses on understanding the role of predator-prey interactions in driving the aerobic granulation process. Predation on bacteria can come from protozoa, phages and even predatory bacteria. The predation work mainly involves protozoa in sludge. Protozoa are plentiful in floccular sludge and protozoan predation is one of the main mortality factors for bacteria in sludge. What remains unknown is whether the selective pressure exerted by protozoan predation are essential to drive smaller suspended biofilms (flocs) to form large, compact aggregates known as granules. Currently, I work with A/P Scott Rice, Prof. Stefan Wuertz, A/P Diane McDougald, Dr Grant Tan and Muhammad Hafiz for the aerobic granulation project.

I am also working on a project that investigates the effects of protozoan predation in mixed species biofilms community. Instead of looking at a diverse community of protozoa, I use a model protozoa, Tetrahymena pyriformis, to graze on established mixed species biofilms. The findings from this study will hopefully address the impacts of protozoan predation on biofilm development and defence mechanisms. For this study, I am working with A/P Scott Rice, A/P Diane McDougald and Dr Kelvin Lee.