Dr Marta Vignola
- Research Fellow (Infrastructure & Environment)
After completing my undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, I gained my Master's 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.
In 2017, I joined the University of Glasgow as a post-doctoral research associate working on a project in collaboration with Scottish Water. My work focused on the implementation of ecological models into the development of tools for the effective design and management of biofiltration systems. I was also involved in a collaborative project between the University of Glasgow and the University of Daar Salaam. The study aimed at understanding 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.
In October 2019, I started my Royal Academy of Engineering for Development Research Fellowship on the development of Eco-engineered biofilters for the sustainable removal of pesticides from drinking water in Brazil.
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 the industry, 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 in developed and developing countries.
- Royal Academy of Engineering for Development Research Fellowship (2019-2024): Eco-Engineered biofilters for sustainable removal of pesticides in drinking water (625k)
- Scottish Funding Council GCRF internal call (2018): Using flow-cytometry for monitoring waste and water treatment performance; workshop and roundtable (30k)