Knowledge is Power: How Advances in Molecular Biological Tools Help Us Optimize Bioremediation Webinar


Based on decades of research, the scientific community has identified microbes that degrade a wide range of contaminants. Combined with increases in knowledge of biodegradation pathways, rapid and profound advances in genomics and molecular biological tools underpin bioremediation and include next-generation sequencing (Gene-Trac® NGS) and multi-target tests (Gene-Trac® Digital Arrays). Such tests are now routinely used by Remediation Site Managers to better understand conditions at contaminated sites.

  • Molecular biological tools allow us to better understand and use the following characteristics of microbial communities to support biodegradation of contaminants:
  • Their ability to degrade chlorinated solvents and hydrocarbons under aerobic and anaerobic conditions
  • Whether communities can degrade the high contaminant concentrations often found in DNAPL source zones
  • Whether communities can overcome toxic inhibition by co-contaminants
  • Their ability to create and capture essential nutrients such as vitamin B12 and nitrogen

Thanks to decades of advances, we can monitor a wide range of microbial pathways using molecular biological tools. The resulting information provides a critical line of evidence for monitored natural attenuation and can also be used to optimize enhanced bioremediation and create best-value solutions.

This presentation will focus on how attendees can gain a better understanding of microbial communities at contaminated sites and how they can use this knowledge to reach cleanup goals as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

SiREM’s webinar series features speakers who are subject matter experts to provide the latest information on technology advances in environmental remediation and site characterization. The webinars will combine recent research and development activities for new and emerging contaminants and technologies with real world applications to characterize and remediate contaminated sites.

The Presenters

Phil Dennis, M.A.Sc.Principal Scientist
Phil Dennis has over 30 years of experience in research and management of molecular biology, microbiology, and environmental remediation laboratories. Phil holds a Master of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto and an Honours B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph. Phil is a founding member of SiREM and, as a Principal Scientist, now focuses on managing research and development and directing molecular genetic testing services. Phil focuses on analyzing and characterizing environmental microbial communities using molecular genetic methods.
Ximena Druar, B.Sc.Genetic Testing Supervisor
Ximena joined SiREM in 2002 as one of SiREM’s first employees and now serves as the Genetic Testing Supervisor where she oversees and coordinates the day-to-day work for Gene-Trac® testing. Her work includes managing deployment of over 60 tests and next-generation sequencing, as well as supervising laboratory technicians and assistants. In addition, Ximena is a client liaison and approves and issues reports, proposals, and invoices.