Kartik Chandran Laboratory

Earth and Environmental Engineering






Contact Us











Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology

Our group employs multidisciplinary strategies to study microbial communities in natural and engineered systems. We are guided by the ultimate vision that gaining a better understanding of these communities will allow us to fully harness their power towards achieving several objectives such as waste treatment, optimal anti-microbial therapies and ultimately contribute to improved environmental and public health.


Modeling microbial communities


Notwithstanding the recent strides made in chemical and biological characterization techniques, numerous steps in environmentally relevant microbial processes such as activated sludge wastewater treatment are still modeled using black-box descriptors.

Our group goes beyond simply developing structured mathematical models that describe microbial communities and interactions. We develop optimal experimental designs using which these models can be parameterized and applied meaningfully.


Microbial ecology of communities



Interrogating the core biocatalysts in microbial communities may provide powerful information on community structure and function. To this end, we apply state of the art tools to answer questions directed at these communities such as:

        Who is where ? (identity, abundance and spatial location)

        What are they doing ? (function)


Community functions



Despite ongoing genome sequencing and discovery of many microorganisms in unexpected environmental niches, it is clear that we know little about the complement of microbial metabolic pathways and their interaction with environmental factors.

We employ techniques like qPCR and custom DNA chips along with advanced bioinformatics to resolve community structure with metabolism.