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New Research Highlights the Role of Freshwater Mussels in Nitrate Formation

Posted on 1 October 2014 | 0 Comments

Native freshwater mussels can influence the aquatic N cycle, but the mechanisms and magnitude of this effect are not fully understood. We assessed the effects of Amblema plicata and Lampsilis cardium on N transformations over 72 d in 4 continuous-flow mesocosms, with 2 replicates of 2 treatments (mesocosms with and without mussels), equipped with electronic water-chemistry sensors. We compared sensor data to discrete sample data to assess the effect of additional sensor measurements on the ability to detect mussel-related effects on NO3 formation.  Link to full article.

Nitrogen Removal from Wastewater by an Aerated Subsurface-Flow Constructed Wetland in Cold Climates

Posted on 1 October 2014 | 0 Comments

The objective of this study was to assess the role of cyclic aeration, vegetation, and temperature on nitrogen removal by subsurface-flow engineered wetlands. Aeration was shown to enhance total nitrogen and ammonia removal and to enhance removal of carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, and phosphorus. Effluent ammonia and total nitrogen concentrations were significantly lower in aerated wetland cells when compared with unaerated cells.  Link to full article.

"New Scientist" Does Story on Cybermussels

Posted on 3 February 2013 | 0 Comments

River mussels wearing tiny sensor backpacks could help monitor the Mississippi for dangerous pollutants. The plan is for the mussels to measure the flow of nitrogen-rich fertiliser that courses down the river and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. An excess of the nutrient there can cause dead zones that suffocate marine life.  Link to full story.

About Craig Just

Dr. Craig Just has served the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa since 1993. He earned a masters degree in chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa in 1994 and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and science from the University of Iowa in 2001. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and an assistant research engineer at IIHR – Hydroscience & Engineering. He is also the Coordinator of Sustainability Programs for the College of Engineering.  Read More