Dr Marta Vignola
- Research Associate (Infrastructure and Environment)
After completing my undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, I gained my Masters degree from the University of Bologna specialising in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology. After few years working between university, industry and Environmental Consultancies, I completed a PhD at Newcastle University within a Marie Curie International Training Network (MERMAID-ITN), investigating the mechanisms driving the assembly of microbial communities in water filters.
I am currently a post-doctoral research associate at University of Glasgow, working to develop tools for the effective design and management of low-cost and low-maintenance decentralised biofiltration systems for drinking water production in collaboration with Scottish Water. I am also involved in a collaborative project between the University of Glasgow and the University of Daar Salaam. The study aims to understand the access to safe and sustainable water for domestic use in the city of Daar Salaam (Tanzania), investigating the quality of water sources and how such data can be used to enhance the public’s capability to engage with water governance institutions.
As engineers, we attempt to eradicate microbes in drinking water treatment plants and distribution systems while, on the other hand, we try to harness their metabolic power to clean-up waste and wastewater. Through my academic research and my experiences working in industry and consultancy, I have developed a unique combination of skills that lie at the interface between engineering, fundamental ecology, and environmental microbiology. My great ambition is to help us move toward a more sustainable future for water treatment technologies by developing theories and tools for the control and management of engineered microbial communities.
- Understanding ecological patterns of microbial communities with a focus on engineered environments;
- Application of molecular tools and ecological models to predict and manipulate microbial communities for environmental solutions;
- Development of low-cost, low-energy treatments solutions for drinking water production.