We are a dynamic group of researchers driven by a shared passion for pioneering research in the realm of resource recovery from organic waste streams.

Principal Investigator

Positions held

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering (July 2023-Present)

  • Postdoctoral researcher, Joint BioEnergy Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Jan 2021-June 2023)

Education

  • Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • MS in Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

  • B. Tech in Biotechnology, Kathmandu University, Nepal

Fun Fact

I enjoy reading books, drawing, and hiking

Dr. Shilva Shrestha

Nuhu Mujaheed

PhD Student

NUHU is a PhD student in Shrestha’s lab, passionate about making clean and affordable energy accessible while protecting the environment. His research focuses on converting organic waste into biofuels and biochemicals using advanced biotechnologies. This approach not only tackles waste management but also offers sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels, benefiting the economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Education

  • Master's Degree of Science, Environmental Engineering & Technology: Ghent University, Belgium

  • Bachelor's Degree of Engineering, Water Resrouces and Environmental Engineering: Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria

Research Interests

  • MCCA production via chain elongation technology

  • Bioreactor optimization

  • Computational modeling

Fun Fact

I can speak Hausa, Jarawa, and English! I've visited the Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Egypt, Spain, Greece, Poland, Italy, UAE, Turkey, and Hungary!

Xuejiao is curious about advanced techniques in the environmental engineering field. Her Ph.D. research mainly focuses on carbon-rich waste stream recovery via chain elongation by microbial methods on the carboxylic acid platform.

Education

  • Master's Degree of Science: University of Tuebingen, Germany

  • Bachelor's Degree of Engineering: DaLian University of Technology, China

Research Interests

  • Waste stream recovery via chain elongation

  • Biochemical methane potential and anaerobic toxicity assay by co-substrate digestion

  • Degredation of DEET in wastewater

Fun Fact

I have a terrible sense of direction!

Xuejiao Lyu

PhD Student

Marisa Tomas

Marisa is currently in the Master’s portion of her BS/MSE degree in Geography and Environmental Engineering. She’s interested in using engineering to solve environmental justice issues, especially related to food and water security. She’s currently exploring her broad interest in sustainable food systems, specifically the different ways to recover resources from food waste.

Master's Student

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree of Engineering: Johns Hopkins University

Research Interests

  • Food waste diversion from landfills

  • Using systems approaches to address food insecurity in urban areas

  • Challenges with nutrient management on farms and in waste systems

Fun Fact

I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee in my free time!

Yitao Zong

Yitao Zong is a master's student in Geography and Environmental Engineering. His interest lies in utilizing microorganisms to degrade environmental pollutants and reduce carbon emissions. Currently, he is working on designing a microaeration bioreactor.

Master's Student

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree of Art: University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Research Interests

  • Carbon cycle emission management.

  • Microbial-mediated pollutant degradation.

  • Microaeration-based bioengineered system.

Fun Fact

Pet lover. I have many cats and an Alaskan Malamute!

Yurui is a 4th year undergraduate student studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and minoring in Visual Arts. She's interested in oral biofilm and advocates for innovative methods to address food and water security!

Research Interests

  • Synthetic biology and pharmacokinetics

  • Process design and bioreactor optimization

Fun Fact

I designed this website! :)

Yurui Zhang

Undergraduate Student

Sunny Li

Undergraduate Student

Sunny is a 3rd year undergraduate student studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and minoring in Environmental Engineering. She is interested in studying microbial communities!

Research Interests

  • Resource recovery from waste stream

  • Process optimization

  • Wastewater treatment

Fun Fact

My hometown is San Jose, California!

Adalee Lynch

Undergraduate Student

Adalee is a 4th year undergraduate student studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and minoring in Entrepreneurship and Management.

Research Interests

  • Ethics of food and agricultural policy

  • Ulterior effects of ingredients and substances used in processing in the gut microbiome

  • Sustainable technologies

Fun Fact

I can name and locate every country on the planet, and I love doing any kind of outdoor activity!

Juny Lee

Undergraduate Student

Juny is a 2nd year undergraduate student studying Environmental Engineering and minoring in Psychology.

Research Interests

  • Bioenergy

  • Wastewater treatment

Fun Fact

I am an avid movie fan!

Charles Zhao

Undergraduate Student

Tianxing Zhao is a 3rd year undergrad majoring in Environmental Science. He's interested in ecological interactions in aquatic environments and integrative methods to solve environmental issues from chemical and biological approaches.

Research Interests

  • application of bioreactors in environments

  • aquatic organism interactions and chemistry

Fun Fact

I've been an aquarium tank builder for 4 years and have built 8 fish tanks!