Monday, January 22, 2018

A new chapter in my life: TU Berlin

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

On 1. January 2018 I started at the Technical University of Berlin as Chair of Water Quality Engineering (Wasserreinhaltung). This web site will not be updated anymore in the foreseeable future. To find out whats new with me you can visit my web site at TU Berlin:

Ferdi Hellweger

Lichthof mit Nike-Statue im TU-Hauptgebäude
© TU Berlin/Böck

Friday, August 4, 2017

Congratulations and thanks to YSPs Olivia and Isabel

Congratulations and thanks to Olivia Hanna and Isabel Koran on a nice summer project investigating the water quality at the future Charles River swimming site. Olivia and Isabel are high school students that joined our research group this summer through Northeastern’s Young Scholars Program (see link below). They were supervised and worked closely with PhD student Max Rome. Olivia and Isabel went out and measured E. coli and cyanobacteria at a number of sites and found some very interesting spatial and temporal patterns, like hotspots of E. coli at certain locations. Here is a picture I took during their final presentation.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Congratulations to Scott & Ryan for a successful defense

Scott Simpson and Ryan Shae successfully defended their MS theses as part of the Gordon Engineering Leadership program. Scott’s thesis -Modeling and Analysis of Forecast-Integrated Stormwater Discharge Control Systems - focused on developing automated control of stormwater infrastructure based on weather forecasts. The idea is that retention ponds release their stored water ahead of a storm to increase the storage volume and decrease runoff and damage to downstream infrastructure. Ryan’s project - Eliminating Unaccounted for Water in the Dedham-Westwood Water District - dealt with combating water loss in distribution systems. By isolating parts of a system and combining various sources of data, Ryan was able to get a better estimate of the losses and their likely cause.
Image from Scott Simpson thesis.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

CBAD: Community Biological Ammonium Demand

I am pleased to announce our recent publication in ES&T under the leadership of Wayne Gardner from the University of Texas. In this paper we present the concept of CBAD (community biological ammonium demand) to help understand CyanoHAB ecology. (C)BAD is similar to BOD (biochemical oxygen demand), a well-known and proven concept in environmental engineering and we hope BAD will be useful for advancing understanding and managing lakes plagued by CyanoHABs.

Monday, June 5, 2017

ASM Microbe 17 Conference Report

I am at ASM in New Orleans. Today, I will make a presentation about our work on individual-based, genome-scale modeling of microbe ecology and evolution. I also attended several very interesting presentations. Obviously there is a lot of focus on the human microbiome and the effect on health and disease. On Friday I attended a very interesting presentation by Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute. His work showed that a lot of the differences in how people respond to nutrients is due to differences in the gut flora. So we are all different, but not because of our genes, but because of our microbiomes. This is why a general approach to nutrition (“cholesterol is bad”) doesnt work. He was able to make predictions about what constitutes a healthy diet for each individual. Fascinating! I always try to relate this surface water quality. Maybe the reason why our lakes often behave in unexpected ways is because of our general management approach (“phosphorus is bad”). Should we be thinking about “personalized diets” for each lake?!/4358/presentation/1452

Friday, May 19, 2017

Upcoming Talk: ASM Microbe 17 in New Orleans

If you are going to be in New Orleans for ASM Microbe 17, I hope to see you at my presentation:

"Individual-Based, Genome-Scale Modeling of Microbe Ecology & Evolution"

June 5, 2017, 11:00 - 11:30 AM
Room 346
Session 474 - Ecology of the Individual Microbe!/4358/presentation/1452

Wednesday, March 29, 2017