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Microbiomes in natural and engineered waters

Professor Natalie Hull's dedication to safe water was ingrained by her Central Appalachian heritage, where she couldn’t play in the nearby creek that was polluted by sewage and irresponsible natural resource extraction. From her earliest undergraduate research experience (University of Kentucky, BS Civil Engineering) studying slow sand filters for water treatment in developing countries, Natalie was captivated by the intersection of environmental microbiology and engineering. The integration of these fields unites her past experiences and informs her research plans. For her MS in Civil Engineering (University of Colorado Boulder), she investigated mammalian toxicity of engineered nanoparticles. As a post-graduate professional researcher (Pace Lab, University of Colorado Boulder), she explored microbial ecology and toxicity of water in built environments including tap water and hydraulic fracturing wastewater. For her PhD in Environmental Engineering (University of Colorado Boulder), she studied molecular mechanisms of water disinfection by ultraviolet light and applications for small water systems as part of the DeRISK Center.

Natalie is building on this convergent engineering and microbiology background, and her graduate certificates in both teaching and mentoring, to inspire and educate students to sustainably engineer safe water for the health and enjoyment of future generations. She is interested in applying emerging molecular biology tools, novel sensors, big data analyses, and optimized treatment technologies to better understand and control microbiomes in natural and engineered waters to protect public and environmental health