Fall 2021 Research Awards


MnDRIVE Environment is pleased to announce our Fall 2021 Research Awards, consisting of both Graduate / Postdoctoral Seed Grant Research Scholar Awards and our newly established Undergraduate Scholar Program Awards. MnDRIVE Environment will soon have project profiles listed on our website offering further information about each funded research project.

The MnDRIVE Environment team wishes to thank our Fall 2021 Review Panel for their time and expert evaluation of another cycle of competitive proposals.

NOTE:  Seed Grant Awards marked with ** have also applied for and received an NRRI Travel Grant. This supplemental travel funding is being offered through a partnership with the Natural Resource Research Institute, with the goal of stimulating system wide collaboration and engagement between our researchers.

Seed Grant Program

Postdoctoral Research Scholar Awards

Reactive Biomaterial to Adsorb and Degrade PFAS From Water
Alptekin Aksan | CSE – Department of Mechanical Engineering

Regenerable Membranes for Phosphate Removal and Recovery From Water**
Valerie Pierre | CSE – Department of Chemistry

Delivering Microbial Bioremediation Enzymes via Sterile Animals
Michael Smanski | CBS – Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics

Cyanotoxin Bioremediation With Microbes**
Michael Travisano | CBS – Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Graduate Research Scholar Awards

Putting the ‘Morph’ Back in Morphology for Fungal Remediation
Jonathan Schilling | CBS – Department of Plant and Microbial Biology

Engineering Biofilms to Optimize Biodegradation of Lignin Waste**
Judy Yang | CSE – Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering

Undergraduate Research Scholar Program

November 2021 Awards
Kinetics of Biofilms for Treatment of Airborne Organic Pollutants
Ping Wang | CFANS – Department of Bioproducts Biosystems Engineering

December 2021 Awards
Undergraduate Training in Encapsulation of PFAS Degrading Bacteria
Alptekin Aksan | CSE – Department of Mechanical Engineering

Direct Carbon Dioxide Capture for Air Remediation in Minnesota
Sam Toan | Swenson CSE (UMD)

Cyanobacteria, Ciliates, and Cyanotoxins Interplay
Michael Travisano | CBS – Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

January 2022 Awards
Using Thermophilic Metal-Reducing Bacteria to Enhance Metal Recovery
Jeffrey Gralnick | CBS – Department of Plant and Microbial Biology

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