Our research on water quality and microbial biotechnology focuses on biological drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment and pollutant biodegradation. We are interested in the ecology of the open microbial communities that these systems are characterized by and how to manage and leverage these communities to the benefit of humankind and the environment.
May 31, 2023
The lab had a picnic in downtown Vancouver to celebrate summer and welcome two new lab members - Manjot Sidhu and Marcus Nordstrand. Our spikeball skills are improving
April 25, 2023
The lab was awarded a New Frontiers in Research Fund Exploration Grant! This is a two-year, $250,000 project called "Innovating greenhouse gas mitigation using aeromicrobiology: Microbes as a sink for methane and other atmospheric pollutants". We will look into the distribution of methanotrophs in the atmosphere, and examine different types of atmospheric transformations that may occur using metagenomics. We are then collaborating with UBC atmospheric chemist Dr. Nadine Borduas-Dedekind's group to look at metabolic activity by methanotrophs under atmospheric conditions. As part of this project, the Fowler lab is looking for a postdoctoral fellow to join the lab.
February 28, 2023
There was a major snowfall last night, so campus was closed for SNOW DAY! We went back to the COVID-style zoom lab meeting this week. Thanks Ramis for the photo.
February 13, 2023
A special issue of the journal Interface Focus focusing on 'Microbial Ecology for Engineering Biology' and edited by Jane and Tom Curtis (Newcastle) has been released (this is Part 1/2)! The Royal Society wrote a blog post about this special issue. The issue includes an editorial about the importance of a cultural shift in academia to improve progress in the development of new technologies that will solve the very real challenges our society faces. It also includes a paper co-authored by Jane on the community assembly processes of biofilms of different thicknesses in nitrifying MBBRs. Find the author accepted manuscript in the Publications section of this website. Check out the full issue at the link above to see the other exciting papers that contributors wrote!
January 4, 2023
Welcome to new lab members. Josephine Huynh and Ronak Salamat have joined as new undergraduate members, and Soobin Yim started her MSc as part of the NSERC CREATE for Water and Sanitation in low resource contexts
November 2, 2022
The Fowler lab won first place in the wild card category of the SFU Biology Department 2022 Photo Contest. This image shows lab members testing out a new core sampler built by Undergraduate student Andy Liyang at Barnet Marine Park. From left: Ramis, Soobin, Andy, Hanieh. See all the winners here
October 26, 2022
The lab published a new paper in collaboration with Jorge Rodriguez's group at Khalifa University. This is the second part of a story on glucose fermentation by natural microbial communities and focuses on strategies for increasing chain elongation and valerate production during fermentation
October 7, 2022
Undergraduate students Soobin Yim and Andy Liyang received their Bachelors degrees!
ISS student Soobin Yim successfully defended her Bachelor thesis
August 29, 2022
Hanieh, Ramis and Jane attended the Personal Cloud Chemistry Colloquium at UBC hosted by Dr. Nadine Borduas-Dedekind. Jane gave a talk on the interactions that humans have with microbes in air and water. Other speakers included Dr. Borduas-Dedekind (UBC Chemistry), Dr. Chris Carlsten (UBC Medicine) and Dr. Michael Koehle (UBC Kinesiology).
August 14-19, 2022
Jane attended the ISME conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, She presented a talk entitled "Mass effects under the microscope: A key archetype in biological treatment systems?" and was a panelist in a Roundtable on 'What advancements are necessary to predict and control microbiomes?' hosted by Mohit Verma and Roland Wilhelm from Purdue University.
PhD students Ramis Rafay and Hanieh Shakeri Moghaddam passed their candidacy exams!
June 12, 2022
The lab went for a bike ride around Stanley Park together. Thanks for planning, Soobin!
June 9, 2022
The lab was awarded an NSERC CREATE grant on ‘Water and Sanitation for Low Resource Contexts’. This project is led by Caetano Dorea at UVic, and Jane is a co-PI along with 9 other researchers from across Canada. This grant will provide funding for graduate student training in WASH for the next six years.
NSERC announcement | Story in Saanich News.
June 2, 2022
The lab went to the beach for lab meeting today to test out the new core sampler that undergraduate student Andy Liyang made. This resulted in several hilarious videos and we have clear issues to troubleshoot with the sampler. Some members of the lab played ultimate frisbee for the first time ever!
March 29, 2022
Jane and Tom Curtis finally held their long-awaited Theo Murphy conference on ‘Microbial Ecology for Engineering Biology’ hosted by the Royal Society in Oxfordshire, UK. The conference was a refreshing change from zoom-based conferences with plenty of interactions and discussion with scientists from disciplines ranging from theoretical ecology to environmental engineering, biophysics and geotechnical engineering. We are very excited to see the new research collaborations and other outcomes that arose from this meeting.
Royal society link
March 10, 2022
New paper in collaboration with Jorge Rodriguez’s research group at Khalifa University in UAE. In this work we tested the upper limits of substrate concentrations during fermentation, and found that the microbial communities adapted to this by producing longer chain fatty acids.
See the paper here
Jane received funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation to fill the lab with all kinds of great tools like a flow cytometer, automation systems, a qPCR machine, bioreactors and field equipment!
See the news article here
July 23, 2021
The lab held a potluck as its first social event to celebrate the arrival (and end of quarantine period) for our new grad students, Ramis and Hanieh!
July 16, 2021
The lab’s first PhD students, Hanieh Shakeri and Ramis Rafay have finally arrived in Canada and are free from quarantine! It was so great to finally meet them in person, and I’m so excited about the work they will do.
August- January 2020
Finally got to access the lab post-COVID it is now cleaned up and ready for action… now I just need to wait for the students.
Jane was awarded an NSERC Discovery Grant on ‘Managing microbial communities with functional ecology’ to work on the microbial ecology of the drinking water microbiome.
Our lab is located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
The picture showcasing SFU is copyright Simon Fraser University.
The picture showcasing SFU is copyright Simon Fraser University.