Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering
Singapore International Water Week 2016 SCELSE participated in wastewater," Aditya strength at the biennial Singapore International "Industry people Water Week (SIWW) 2016 event, which attracted technologies that can much higher levels of be translated very governmental and industry quickly," he added.
interest compared to previous years.
Research Director Attendees included Dr of Environmental Enrico Marsili and Dr Law Engineering A/Prof. Yingyu who gave talks, Sanjay Swarup felt Dr Cecilia Cruz, Dr Jamie there was a greater Hinks, Dr Gourvendu Saxena and Anika community Aditya Bandla explaining his research emphasis on climate Cokro who presented their posters, project to visitors from Japan change this year.
and Rajat Mishra and Aditya Bandla who demonstrated their projects at the project with Dr Marsili.
discussions on climate change and exhibition booth.
"Compared to the previous Water how it affects water systems and SCELSE PhD student Aditya Bandla Week in 2014, this year the industry sustainability. More research is needed was at the booth to present his people seem to be more interested in in regions where the impact of climate electrochemistry experimental setup research solutions. We were visited change is the greatest but so far most of to enrich for bacteria from sediments by Hyflux and they are interested in the research is conducted in places that and study surface redox potential on applying the technology to tackle the are less affected, such as in the USA or problem of heavy metals in industrial UK. This is now changing. There is also cont. p. 4 Biophysics of Biofilms Symposium 11 Aug: Onder Kimyon, University of
New South Wales. 1:00pm - 2:00pm. that biofilm research needed more input Biophysics of Biofilms from other fields, such in conjunction with The invited speakers Environmental Engineering meeting: were Prof. Gerard Tuesdays 9am, B3 Meeting Room.
2016. The afternoon event featured a University of California Kline Group meeting: Mondays lineup of prominent Los Angeles, Prof. 9:30am, B3 Meeting Room (please international experts Ramin Golestanian check with Kimberly prior to joining).
Prof. Berenike Maier giving a talk from University of biophysical principles Oxford and Prof. in microbial biofilms such as bacterial Berenike Maier from University of Cologne, surface sensing, motility and interaction Germany. A large turnout of more than 50 Wednesdays: Focus Martial Arts.
participants attended the talks, including 6:30pm - 8:30pm. NTU Nanyang In the welcome address, SCELSE Centre Summer Course students and SCELSE Auditorium Annex.
Director Prof. Staffan Kjelleberg emphasised members.
Fridays: Shut Up and Write! 9:00am.
B3 Meeting Room.
SCELSE FYP student wins prize at top 24 Aug: SCELSE Open House and
PhD information session. 12:00 noon international research academy - 5:00pm. B2 Coffee Lounge.
26 Aug: SCELSE Cross-cluster
SCELSE final year estradiol in aquatic student Goh Jing adsorptive filtration Discussion Forum. 4:00pm - 5:00pm. Yaw has won the 3rd B3 Meeting Room.
prize at the ASPIRE ASPIRE league is Undergraduate Research jointly formed by 26 Aug: SCELSE Happy Hour. From
Academy (UGRA) 2016, the alliance of five 5:00pm. B2 Coffee Lounge.
top technological He is a third year university members NTU School of Civil in the region, namely 21 - 26 Aug: 16th International
and Environmental Hong Kong University Symposium on Microbial Ecology Engineering (CEE) undergraduate student Technology (HKUST), (ISME), Montreal, Canada.
working with Asst. Prof. Cao Bin at Korea Advanced Institute of Science & 16 - 19 Sep: Managing Environmental
SCELSE. The theme for this year's Technology (KAIST), Tokyo Institute of Quality in the Asia Century. Society UGRA is "Energy Challenges and Technology, Tsinghua University and Solutions in Today's Context", and Jing Nanyang Technological University.
of Environmental Toxicology and Yaw's winning research presentation We congratulate Jing Yaw on his Chemistry Conference. Singapore.
is on the "Removal of 17α-ethinyl outstanding achievement! Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering Water is essential for life; it is taken positively by PUB and they now a lot, both professionally and personally, the lifeblood of a city and have a long term plan to convert the while working through these challenges. indispensable in the microbial world. concrete bed waterways into soft bed On personal front, I have learned about It is also an important driving force waterways. In addition, we found that different cultures and made many friends in Dr Gourvendu Saxena's research metals have profound influence on for life," he elaborated. career, especially his work on microbial structure and functions of microbial After the hard work and effort, come communities in urban waterways. communities in clean watersheds such as the fruits of labour. "My PhD project was in line with Singapore," Gourvendu explained.
"I feel a sense of accomplishment SCELSE's objectives and was thus chosen On top of these results, he also and satisfaction when the outcome of by SCELSE as one of its established an ecogenomics- the research is appreciated by water flagship projects," he said. based framework to study managers and general public," he said.
At SCELSE, Gourvendu's complex urban aquatic Gourvendu graduated with a B.Tech main area of research ecosystems. This involves using degree in Industrial Biotechnology at is to understand the a combination of ecogenomics Dr. MGR Educational and Research microbiome structure and multivariate statistical Institute, Deemed University in Chennai, and functions in diverse approaches to reduce the India. He moved to Singapore and in environments, in order staggering complexity of 2008 he attained his MSc degree in to find associations of gene variants present in the Environmental Science and Engineering the microbiome with watershed to few gene targets under the Singapore Stanford Partnership environmental factors and which can efficiently report programme (SSP) jointly conducted how they influence each the microbiome variation. by Stanford University and NTU. He The framework is being then embarked on his urban waterways "I am working with implemented by watershed project at NUS and attained his PhD in urban waterways team managers at PUB to monitor in SCELSE and PUB to the ecological health of the For new students, Gourvendu has this study microbiomes and their relations waterways ecosystem. to say: "First advice to new PhD students: to the environment in Jurong and Ulu- "I hope that management interventions choose your project based on your Pandan catchment. In addition, I am to control the local environments strengths and interests. Secondly, good working with A/Prof. Lee Yung Seng can now be used for enhancing results make you happy and a happy from Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, critical ecological services to develop researcher is a successful researcher. It's NUS on understanding gut microbiome sustainable, self-cleaning waterways a vicious cycle which only allows you and its relation with host glycemic infrastructure," Gourvendu said. The to enter with good results. Publications response to diets consisting of different same framework has also been adopted follow happy researchers, naturally." rice varieties. I am also working with to study the human gut microbiome.
About life in Singapore, he said SynCTI on reconstituting microbial Research with such a diverse scope that Singapore has "a world class communities beneficial to plant growth," comes with its own set of challenges. infrastructure, which provides a safe and he elaborated.
"Working on multiple projects with comfortable environment to live and The urban waterways project has competing priorities is the biggest yielded significant findings. challenge in my job. In addition each Outside of science, Gourvendu likes "Our results suggest that microbial project requires communication and to play chess and read books of diverse communities are highly diverse in coordination between different agencies, genres. "I also like experimenting in the sediments when compared with institutions and teams of diverse kitchen," he added.
overflowing water. This result has been nationalities and expertise. I have gained Dose dependent response of bacteria to volatile organic compounds of industrial VOCs present a serious cultured overnight, different VOC concentrations were added and the n many industrial settings, volatile concern for wastewater treatment.
cells were incubated. They then organic compounds (VOCs) SCELSE researchers study the extracted RNA from the bacteria and are commonly used as solvents or response of Escherichia coli K-12 performed RNA sequencing and data produced as by-products during the MG1655 bacteria to sub-toxic levels manufacturing of polymers, cleaners of VOCs. They used a transcriptomics Their data suggested that a variety and industrial chemicals. VOCs approach to investigate the global of genes in E. coli related to the iron- such as toluene, methyl acetate, gene expression of E. coli K-12 grown sulphur cluster biogenesis, oxidative trichloroethylene, benzene, and in the presence of eight industrially and universal stress responses, and phenol are common indoor and urban relevant VOCs such as n-butanol, transport and membrane bound N-cyclohexyl-pyrrolidone and proteins responded to the VOCs. The toxicity of VOCs has been cyclopentanone. The bacteria were By identifying these evaluated in animal transcriptional changes, models and found to SCELSE researchers cause developmental have set the framework toxicity in rat embryos for the analysis of dose dependent response, In addition, VOCs which is a key aspect in the development of microorganisms in the VOC biosensors. Results environment, by affecting from this study can also microbial diversity be applied to future and biodegradation biosensor development performance in activated in other species of sludge and in soil. Thus, the discharge Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering SCELSE Summer Course and Happy Hour SCELSE Summer Course students took a break from their busy schedule to visit the Asian Civilisations Museum, guided by SCELSE researcher and museum docent Dr Irina Bessarab, and go on a cultural tour of the city. Our Happy Hour in July was held in conjunction with a farewell gathering for SCELSE PhD graduate Harikrishnan Nair, who landed an industry position in Heidelberg, Germany. In addition, the crowd was bolstered by Summer Course students who joined in the festivities, singing and dancing well into the night. Special thanks to Hari for sponsoring the food and cocktails, and best wishes for your future endeavours! Biofilms 7 conference in Portugal A/Prof. Scott Rice, A/Prof. Diane McDougald and Dr Thomas Seviour who gave talks while Yingdan Zhang, SCELSE researcher Dr Lim Chun Cheng Li, Zhao Cai and I presented Ping recently attended the Biofilms 7 conference in Portugal. Besides the academic programmes, He contributes this report of his the attendees of Biofilms 7 were treated to outdoor picnic-like tea and lunch sessions in the nice summer days Biofilms 7 was held from 26th to of Porto. The conference dinner was 28th June 2016 in the Portuguese held at Taylor's Wine Cellar where we city of Porto. The conference featured were introduced to Port wine and were two bird's-eye view lectures given by treated to a sumptuous dinner with Professor Tom Battin and Professor Dr Lim Chun Ping (left) and Dr Tom Seviour in Port wine tasting. Many interesting Hans-Curt Flemming.
discussions were struck up during Professor Battin lectured on the Porto, Portugal for the Biofilms 7 conference these social functions.
distinction between the lifestyles Biofilms 7 concluded with the of biofilms and aggregates whose total prevention of fouling is impossible. award ceremony where all of the differentiation is driven by hydrodynamic He suggested that biofilm management, awards were set up specifically for forces in natural systems. He closed in order to be effective, has to be a young researcher and students. The his talk by stressing the importance of continuous process and not a knee-jerk organisers hoped to encourage and research in both biofilm ecology and nurture new talents in the field with biofilm microbiology in advancing our Biofilms 7 also featured many these awards. Overall, it was a fruitful knowledge in biofilms. interesting talks and posters that Professor Flemming's lecture was addresses cutting-edge biofilm research on the management of biofilms in the industry, environment and medical Please check out the event video at: in engineered system with him emphasising that biofilm is a lifeform and SCELSE was well represented with Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering This month's student profile Last year, we found that C. features Wu Yichao! testosteroni which was considered as a strictly aerobic organism can grow If you were stranded on a deserted
Tell us a bit about your work in
under anoxic condition. island, what would you want to bring
Under oxygen-limiting with you?
Currently, I am working conditions, they can I would like to have a fully-charged on the investigation of respire on nitrate satellite phone.
the role of Comamonas to generate energy. in the environment and Therefore, they can Fill in the blanks: When _ , I
their biofilm lifestyle. I am survive at the bottom supervised by Asst. Prof. of biofilms or anoxic When I graduate, I will definitely Cao Bin and Prof. Yehuda Cohen. Many other What excites you and
researchers and students what makes you go
Anything you would like to say to
also gave me many fellow students?
suggestions and guided me a lot during my study. Treat your little ‘bug' well, otherwise images through the no one else will do it.
Any interesting findings
microscope excites me. or experiences so far?
Waiting makes me go SCELSE is a starting point for SCELSE under Kline lab has many final year project (FYP) School of Biological not only equipped me with students who get their first taste Science's research wide array of technical of research work here and find experience course skills but has also left me their horizons expanded by the and was attached with many fond memories with Asst. Prof. and friendships. Nair Zeus Jaren is an FYP student Kimberly Kline's My experience in who did his project entitled SCELSE made me realise "Characterisation of the Role of mentored by Ms Lam my passion for research a Cation Efflux Transporter in Ling Ning and Dr and played a major part Enterococcus faecalis Biofilm in shaping my decision to Formation under Iron-enriched take up a PhD programme, Conditions" at SCELSE from stirred up my interest which was something I September 2015 until May this year. for the project which did not picture myself Zeus just graduated from NTU I continued with for doing when I started my during the recent convocation my final year project. undergraduate education. ceremony and has decided to do his PhD at SCELSE. He will be returning characterising a novel conducive research soon as part of the August intake.
E. faecalis cation environment, great work Here is his perspective of his efflux transporter culture and the lab's research experience: under iron-enriched cohesiveness, it was an obvious choice to return I first joined SCELSE last year one year I spent in for my graduate studies.
Singapore International Water Week 2016 (from p. 1) an increased emphasis on dive to a depth of 100 water environment," he explained. groundwater," he observed.
metres, recording 10 "If we find any large gradients, we Prof. Sanjay noticed readings per second can return to the location to get water that there is more active with its five different participation from SCELSE sensors that measure The robotic stingray has not only this year, which he said was dissolved oxygen, attracted the attention of local highly encouraging.
electrical conductivity, governmental organisations such as Another major highlight PUB and JTC, but also from notable at the booth was a robotic reduction potential and foreign organisations stingray for water quality "We were asked by a staff scientist sensing, jointly developed from the US Environmental Protection by SCELSE at NUS and the returns to the surface Agency (EPA) to send them a write-up Singapore University for to transmit its data about the stingray," Rajat revealed.
Technology and Design "With the stingray SCELSE PhD student Newsletter contacts Rajat Mishra, who worked Rajat Mishra and SUTD collect data instead to develop the robot, collaborator Federico Fries of using bioreactors, said that the stingray is and it can produce autonomous and can presenting the robotic stingray a 3D map of the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering


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