MissionCEMBL is a dedicated service platform designed to help users in their research activities. Modern tools in the fields of molecular biology and microbiology are made available to users who receive also advice and technical support for their research.
Current workBioremediation of contaminated sites:
-Uranium deposits present in Kazakhstan are exploited by acid leaching, a technique also called 'In-situ Recovery' (ISR). ISR involves the injection of an acid fluid into the mineralized aquifer and the pumping of the resulting solutions in cation exchange columns for the recovery of the dissolved U. A strategy of rehabilitation of the aquifer exploited by ISR is based on the biostimulation of local bacterial communities to mediate the acid plume and immobilize remaining trace metals.
-Contamination of aquifers by xenobiotics, such as chlorinated ethenes, PCBs and dioxin compounds. The main activity is to identify the bacterial players responsible for the degradation of these compounds. In the same way, he comes to understand how environmental variables influence their activities and how they can be stimulated.
Viet Nam, with the favorable geography and climate conditions for aquaculture, reaching a total seafood export turnover of US$ 6.8 billion in 2011. Shrimp farms cover more than 640 million hectares all over the country, but are localized in the delta of the Mekong River. In practice, most farmers have access to and make use of a wide variety of antibiotics and other chemicals to treat animals or prevent disease outbreak in their farms. The risks identified in relation to uncontrolled or indiscriminate antibiotic use in aquaculture are namely the development and the transfer of a reservoir of AB-multi-resistant bacteria in the aquatic environment. In this research activities, we aim at measure quantitatively the levels of ARGs in the aquatic environment of shrimp farms. Second, we aim at revealing the routes of the spreading of these resistances in the adjacent river receiving the effluents of the culture basins, as well as the geographical extend.
Microbe-mediated recovery of rare earth elements:
It aims at recycling metals and rare earth elements (REEs) from electronic devices using an eco-friendly, microbes-mediated leaching technique. This project benefits from interdisciplinary inputs and is set between two international institutions, having long-lasting records of research activities carried out in relationship with applied microbiology. This proposal is focused on a yet untapped source of biotechnological potential that can lead to innovative applications in the field of environmentally friendly recycling of scarce resources. Need for REEs is growing, as these chemical elements increasingly enter high-tech phones and computers as well as devices required for the transition towards sustainable sources of energy, such as wind turbines. Microbes-mediated leaching process offers many advantages over traditional recycling techniques. Adaptive responses and ecological evolution make metal-leaching bacteria a powerful tool that could be applied to very diverse sources of electronic waste.
Working experienceResearch and Teaching Associate (2009 – now)
Manager of the Central Environmental Molecular Biology Laboratory (CEMBL). Services for IIE members in the field of environmental molecular biology (http://gr-cel.epfl.ch/)
Microbiologist, senior researcher, lecturer, EPFL – LBE, Lausanne (2004-2008) 6th EU framework research program: development of a monitoring practice for the bioremediation of contaminated aquifers. Focus on the development of multidisciplinary analytical capacities
Lecturer, Lycée Jean-Piaget, Neuchâtel (2002-2003)
Human and environmental biology teacher
Scientific collaborator, Centre for Hydrogeology, Univ. of Neuchâtel (2002-2003)
Consultancy for the Swiss federal Geological Survey: analysis of the status of the drinking ground-water quality and similar oligotrophic environments
Master-Assistant, Microbiology Laboratory, Univ. of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (1997-2002) Research in environmental microbiology. Management, organization and coaching of a research team Synergy planner, head of research projects in multidisciplinary and multicultural environments. Management of contracts with industrial partners
Post-doctoral fellow, University of Southern California (USC), USA (1996-1997) Research in the field of marine microbiology with prof. J.A. Fuhrman. Molecular characterization of uncultured marine oligotrophic bacteria.
Post-doctoral fellow, Univ. of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (1994-1996)
Bacterial biodiversity in karstic aquifers and relationship with colloidal particles.
Teaching & PhD
Environmental Sciences and Engineering