Education for Sustainable Living Program Lecture Series

Featuring Katy Delaney & Shaily Mahendra

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Young CS76

Katy Delaney is a National Park Service ecologist at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.  She completed her undergraduate education at UCSD, and received her PhD from UCLA’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department.  Her past research has involved studying the impacts of urbanization and habitat fragmentation on the genetics of lizards and birds in the Santa Monica Mountains, and developing a conservation plan to protect biodiversity in Southern California. 


Shaily Mahendra is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCLA.  Her research interests lie in the area of microbial interactions with chemical contaminants and nanoparticles for applications ranging from ecotoxicology to biodegradation to disinfection. Bacteria and fungi serve as useful indicators of potential toxicity to higher organisms and ecosystem health, but they can also detoxify a variety of environmental pollutants. Conversely, antimicrobial materials can be used for disinfection applications.

My laboratory pursues research projects employing microbiological, molecular biological, and isotopic tools to (a) characterize microbial communities in engineered and natural environments, (b) optimize biological processes to improve the performance of wastewater treatment or bioremediation systems, (c) explore production of biofuels from industrial wastewater, and (d) investigate mechanisms of transformation, toxicity, and trophic transfer of nanoparticles. Thus, a comprehensive study of the implications and applications of the biotechnology and nanotechnology revolutions will enable us to use their benefits without environmental and public health liabilities.