Prof. Barth F. Smets


“I work at the interface of microbial ecology and environmental & public health engineering. Using experimental tools plus computational approaches, we study both curiosity-driven and mission-oriented questions, focusing on the microbiomes of water engineering applications. Examples include: the engineered nitrogen cycle (focus on anammox, comammox, and N2O); the link between microbiome dynamics and system performance and stability; biofilm composition and dynamics – especially in novel bioreactors; horizontal gene transfer and the fate of ARGs, and the fate of organic micro-pollutants. We try to understand the ecology of ARG and ARBs – based on experimental studies and the development of mathematical models at different scales – and to develop biology-inspired approaches to reduce ARG/ARB fluxes across environmental compartments.”