Deborah Roberts


Other Titles: Associate Member - Biology
Office: EME3233
Phone: 250.807.8722

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Biological systems for treatment of extreme wastewaters; microbial fuel fells (MFC) as waste to energy applications for the agricultural industry; removal of arsenic friom mine drainage; sulphur oxidizing microbes and their effects on the environment (microbial deterioration of concrete and acid rock drainage); source water protection through best management practices

Courses & Teaching

Laboratory skills; applied microbiology; biological treatment processes; environmental engineering; water quality engineering and analysis; engineering and the environment, first year chemistry.


My research combines my training as a classical microbiologist with almost 30 years experience in engineering research developing new methods for the application of microbial processes to treat contaminated water, soil and sediments. I train students in classical and modern microbiological techniques, theory and application of analytical chemistry and the development of new methods for the analysis of contaminants and their breakdown products. In addition,I undertake research that bridges the theory and application of biological techniques to contaminant removal from environmental media.


The Facility for Environmental and Biological Imaging (FEBI)
The Biological Solutions Laboratory (BSL)


PhD, Microbiology, University of Alberta
BSc, Microbiology, University of Alberta

Research Interests & Projects

1. Waste to energy for agricultural waste streams including microbial fuel cells for winery wastewater treatment, and waste to energy conversion for cull fruits.

2. Development of technology to remove arsenic from mine draiange

3. Development of technology to measure microbial growth.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Please see the Biological Solutions Laboratory web site for more about my publications and research.

Selected Grants & Awards

NSERC Discovery – Sustainable biological solutions for treatment of industrial wastewaters.

NSERC CRD/Avino Gold and Silver – Improving passive bioreactors for treatment of mine drainage.

NSERC Engage – Retrofit testing of microbial fuel cell to treat winery wastewater.

Professional Services/Affiliations/Committees

UBC – Senior Appointments Committee

UBCO Senate  – Chair of the Senate Learning and Research Commitee

School of Engineering – Mentorship program developer



Apologies, but no results were found.