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Faculty Profile

BIOGRAPHY

  • Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 1985.
  • M.S., Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 1982.
  • Diploma, Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece, 1974.

Dr. Spyros G. Pavlostathis is Professor of Environmental Engineering at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA. A recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship, Dr. Pavlostathis completed his MS and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at Cornell University after obtaining his Diploma in Agricultural Engineering at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece. He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, an Engineer-in-Training (New York State), and an inaugural Fellow of both the International Water Association and the Water Environment Federation. He was recently appointed to an Honorary Professorship in Innovative Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, Chinese Ministry of Education, Tongji University, Shanghai, China. 

Dr. Pavlostathis is internationally recognized for his expertise in the areas of environmental biotechnology and bioprocess engineering for the bioremediation of contaminated natural systems and the treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater, as well as the kinetics, modeling, and simulation of bioprocesses. His research includes bioenergy and biofuels; bioavailability, fate and biotransformation of recalcitrant organic compounds; the biotransformation of emerging environmental contaminants; disinfectant-induced antibiotic resistance; as well as microbial fuel cell and bioelectrochemical technology.

Dr. Pavlostathis has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers and authored over 200 publications including books or book chapters. He is the primary author of the authoritative and widely cited critical review Kinetics of Anaerobic Treatment and a co-author of the widely used Anaerobic Digestion Model No. 1. developed by the International Water Association (IWA) Anaerobic Digestion Specialist Group/Task Group for Mathematical Modelling of Anaerobic Wastewater Processes. Dr. Pavlostathis has organized or chaired over 35 conferences and conference sessions and frequently serves as a consultant, invited speaker and panelist on behalf of city, county, state and federal agencies in the US and abroad. An active member of several professional organizations, Dr. Pavlostathis has served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Environmental Engineering, Water Science & Technology (Guest Editor), Biotechnology Letters, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Water Environment Research, and Water Quality Research Journal of Canada.

Dr. Pavlostathis is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the Greek National Scholarship Foundation, French Government Scholarship, Fulbright Scholarship, Kassimati Foundation Scholarship, Chi Epsilon (National Civil Engineering Honor Society), Dutch National Science Foundation Fellowship, Water Environment Federation CharterMember, Recruiters Recognition Club, Water Environment Federation/Georgia Water & Pollution Control Association Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award, Georgia Institute of Technology/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering Best Paper Award, Georgia Institute of Technology/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering Sustained Research Award for Excellence in Environmental Research and Archival Publications, Visiting Scholar Fellowship at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, UK, Marie Curie Visiting Senior Research Fellowship at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, and the Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, Georgia Institute of Technology, Outstanding Faculty Award.

Throughout his academic career, Dr. Pavlostathis has been a dedicated educator of future environmental engineers, teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Committed to the mission of teaching, he remains actively engaged in the development of curriculum and is involved in the advisement of both graduate and undergraduate engineering students. In terms of education-related service at the university level, he has been the chair and member of numerous committees. In recognition of his experience and high standing in the education of aspiring engineers he has been invited to give over 40 short courses and lectures both nationally and worldwide. He has served abroad as an evaluator of engineering curricula and programs, as well as an external thesis reviewer. Through his research activities, he has mentored numerous post doctoral fellows and visiting scholars, Ph.D. and MS students, who have gone on to work in consulting, state and federal regulatory agencies, as well as academia, and provided many research opportunities for undergraduate students.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Environmental biotechnology and bioprocess engineering for the bioremediation of contaminated natural systems and the treatment of industrial and municipal wastewater
  • Fate and biotransformation of recalcitrant organic compounds and emerging environmental contaminants
  • Disinfectant-induced antibiotic resistance
  • Bioenergy and biofuels from biomass and waste streams
  • Microbial fuel cell and bioelectrochemical technology
  • Kinetics, modeling and simulation of biotransformation and biotreatment processes

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/AEES Symposium – Best Poster Award (C. M. Dykstra; 2015)
  • Co-advisor, Sigma Xi Georgia Institute of Technology Chapter – Best Ph.D. Thesis Award (P. Sun; 2015)
  • Co-advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering – Best Ph.D. Thesis Award (P. Sun; 2014)
  • Honorary Professorship in Innovative Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, Chinese Ministry of Education (111 Program); Tongji University, College of Environmental Science & Engineering, Shanghai, China (2014 – 2017).
  • Co-advisor, ACS/Division of Environmental Chemistry – Graduate Student Paper Award (P. Sun; 2014)
  • Co-advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/AEES Best Ph.D. Thesis Award (P. Sun; 2014)
  • Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, Georgia Institute of Technology – Outstanding Faculty Award (2014)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering – Sustained Research Award (2013)
  • Fellow, Water Environment Federation (2011 Inaugural Recipient)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/AEES Symposium – Best Poster Award (T. Misiti; 2011)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/AEES Symposium – 3rd Place Poster Award (H. Giles; 2011)
  • Fellow, International Water Association (2010 Inaugural Recipient)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/AEES Symposium – Best Poster Award (T. Misiti; 2010)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology, AEES Symposium – Best Ph.D. Thesis Award (U. Tezel; 2009)
  • Georgia Association of Water Professionals - Nominated for the Water Environment Federation Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator (2009)
  • Marie Curie Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Department of Microbiology and Environmental Change Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland (May 2009 - September 2009)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Civil & Environmental Engeneering Best Ph.D. Thesis Award (D. Okutman-Tas; 2007)
  • American Academy of Environmental Engineers - Elected by Eminence as Board Certified Environmental Engineer (2006)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering Best Ph.D. Thesis Award (Y.H. Lee; 2004)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology, Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AEES) Best MS Thesis Award (W. Epolito; 2004)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology – President's Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor Award (2004)
  • Visiting Scholar, School of Environmental and Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, UK (Summers 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering - Sustained Research Award for Excellence in Environmental Research and Archival Publications (2001)
  • Dutch National Science Foundation, Wageningen University Sabbatical Fellowship (2000)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Best Paper Award (1997)
  • Water Environment Federation,Georgia Water & Pollution Control Association, Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award (1996)
  • Water Environment Federation - Charter Member, Recruiters Recognition Club (1994)
  • Chi Epsilon (National Civil Engineering Honor Society)
  • Kassimati Foundation Scholarship - Cornell University (1980 - 1982)
  • Fulbright Fellowship - Cornell University (1979 - 1981)
  • French Government Scholarship (1977)
  • Greek National Scholarship Foundation (1969 - 1973)

RECENT PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS

ARTICLES
  • Dykstra, C. M., and S. G. Pavlostathis. 2017. Evaluation of Gas and Carbon Transport in a Methanogenic Bioelectrochemical System (BES). Biotechnology & Bioengineering DOI 10.1002/bit.26230.
  • Zeng, X., M. A., Collins, Borole, A. B., and S. G. Pavlostathis. 2017. The Extent of Fermentative Transformation of Phenolic Compounds in the Bioanode Controls Exoelectrogenic Activity in a Microbial Electrolysis Cell. Water Research 109:299-309.
  • Zeng, X., Borole, A. B., and S. G. Pavlostathis. 2016. Inhibitory Effect of Furanic and Phenolic Compounds on Exoelectrogenesis in a Microbial Electrolysis Cell Bioanode. Environmental Science & Technology. 50(20), 11357−11365.
  • Sun, P., S. G. Pavlostathis, and C-H. Huang. 2016. Estimation of Environmentally Relevant Chemical Properties of Veterinary Ionophore Antibiotics. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 23(18), 18353-18361.
  • Zeng, X., Borole, A. B., and S. G. Pavlostathis. 2016. Performance Evaluation of a Continuous-flow Bioanode Microbial Electrolysis Cell Fed with Furanic and Phenolic Compounds. RSC Advances 6, 65563-65571.
BOOKS
  • Tezel U., and S. G. Pavlostathis. 2012. The Role of Quaternary Ammonium Compounds on Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment. In Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment, P. L. Keen and M. H. M. M. Montforts (Eds.), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA.
  • Pavlostathis, S. G. 2011. Kinetics and Modeling of Anaerobic Treatment and Biotransformation Processes. In Comprehensive Biotechnology, 2nd Edition, M. Moo-Young (Editor-in-Chief); Volume 6: Environmental Biotechnology and Safety, S. Agathos (Ed.), Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Tezel, U., M. Tandukar, and S. G. Pavlostathis. 2011. Anaerobic Biotreatment of Municipal Sewage Sludge. In Comprehensive Biotechnology, 2nd Edition, M. Moo-Young (Editor-in-Chief); Volume 6: Environmental Biotechnology and Safety, S. Agathos (Ed.), Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Tandukar, M., S. G. Pavlostathis, and F. J. Cervantes. 2009. Autotrophic Denitrification for the Removal of Nitrogenous and Sulphurous Contaminants from Wastewaters. In Environmental Technologies to Treat Nitrogen Pollution: Principles and Engineering, F. J. Cervantes (Ed.). Ch. 12, IWA Publishing, London, UK.
  • Cervantes, F. J., S. G. Pavlostathis, and A. van Haandel (Eds). 2006. Advanced Biological Treatment for Industrial Wastewaters: Principles & Applications, IWA Publishing, London, UK.
PROCEEDINGS
  • Zeng, X., A. P. Borole, and S. G. Pavlostathis. Bioelectrochemical Hydrogen Production from Furanic and Phenolic Compounds. 14th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion: Closing Cycles for Sustainability, Viña del Mar, Chile, November 2015.
  • Dykstra, C. M. and S. G. Pavlostathis. Development and Characterization of a Bioelectrochemical System for Biogas Upgrading. 14th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion: Closing Cycles for Sustainability, Viña del Mar, Chile, November 2015.
  • Zeng, X., A. P. Borole, and S. G. Pavlostathis. Conversion of Furanic and Phenolic Compounds to Hydrogen Gas in a Microbial Electrolysis Cell. 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, November 2014.
  • Tandukar, M., S. A. Hardy, R. Porter, H. Elmendorf, and S. G. Pavlostathis. Anaerobic Co-digestion of Municipal Sludge with FOG Enhances the Destruction of Sludge Solids. 13th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion: Recovering (Bio)resources for the World, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, June 2013.
  • Dykstra, C. M., H. D. Giles, S. Banerjee, and S. G. Pavlostathis. Biotransformation Potential of Phytosterols under Anoxic and Anaerobic Conditions. 13th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion: Recovering (Bio)resources for the World, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, June 2013.
PRESENTATIONS
  • Borole, A. P., A. Lewis, C. Wilson, S. G. Pavlostathis, X. Zeng, C. Tsouris, L. Park, S. Yiacoumi, S. Ren, P. Ye, R. Bhave, P. Kim, N. Labbe, and K. Albrecht. Sustainable Production of Renewable Hydrogen in Biorefinery. TCS 2016 – Symposium on Thermal and Catalytic Sciences for Biofuels and Biobased Products. The Friday Center, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, NC, November 2016.
  • Zeng, X., M. N. Collins, A. P. Borole, and S. G. Pavlostathis. Biotransformation and Inhibitory Effect of Furanic and Phenolic Compounds in the Anode of a Microbial Electrolysis Cell (MEC). 252nd American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, August 2016.
  • Zeng, X, Collins, A. M., A. P. Borole, and S. G. Pavlostathis. Bioelectrochemical Transformation of Furanic and Phenolic Compounds with H2 Production. Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists Annual Symposium, Atlanta, GA, April 2016 (Poster).
  • Zeng, X., M. N. Collins, A. P. Borole, and Spyros G. Pavlostathis. Green, Sustainable H2 Supply for Upgrading Bio-oil to Biofuel: Conversion of Furanic and Phenolic Byproducts to H2 Using Bioelectrochemical Technology. 251st American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, San Diego, CA, March 2016.
  • Zeng, X., A. P. Borole, and S. G. Pavlostathis. Hydrogen Production from Furanic and Phenolic Compounds in a Microbial Electrolysis Cell. Industrial Conference & Expo, Georgia Association of Water Professionals, Athens Classic Center, Athens, GA, March 2016.