Dr Aditya BANDLA
Research Fellow
Environmental Engineering cluster, SCELSE

Characterising the sediment microbiome of urban waterways.

Singapore’s urban waterways consist of a dense network of concrete canals and paved drains to manage stormwater and to meet the island’s growing water demand. These waterways are also the final repository of sediments that get washed off by stormwater runoff. These sediments harbour diverse microbial communities which perform a multitude of ecosystem services such as carbon cycling and the breakdown of contaminants. A mechanistic understanding of such processes is required in order to better harness the power of the sediment-biofilm matrix in applications such as bioremediation. However, such an understanding is lacking at present as such processes occur at micro-spatial scales (nanometers to micrometers). Aditya’s research integrates advanced imaging (3D-EM, CLSM), electrochemical (microsensors), microfluidic, mass spectroscopy and molecular techniques (metagenomics, FISH) to gain a predictive understanding of the physicochemical factors governing microbial assemblage, function and  processes on sediment particles at such scales.