Professor Gillian Dianne Lewis

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Associate Dean-Sustainability

Research | Current

Biofilm Research

Stream biofilms are the focus of our current research. This work focuses on the structure, function and ecological roles of these complex communities.

See the stream biofilm website at

Current and ongoing projects

  • Relationship between bacterial community diversity and functional diversity in stream biofilms
  • Influence of light and flow regimes on bacterial communities in stream biofilms.
  • Microbial biofilms for enhancement of stormwater treatment systems.
  • Microbial biofilms for monitoring the ecological health of streams.
  • The importance of rare bacteria in mixed communities.
  • Stream microbial food webs

Past/completed projects

  • Distribution, persistence and fate of human viruses in aquatic systems
  • Contaminants of Oyster farms by microbial pathogens and indicators
  • Source distribution and implications of microbial contamination of beaches
  • Microbiological components and activity in reducing contaminants in stormwater treatment systems
  • Alternative microbial indicators and water quality
  • Virus transfer to the air by bubble bursting
  • Bacterial resuspension from sediments: implications for water quality
  • Microbial assemblages in wetlands receiving wastewater
  • The influence of bacterial viruses on the bacterial population dynamics in wastewater treatment systems
  • Human viruses in New Zealand Rivers
  • Microbial intervention to reduce methane emissions from waste treatment systems

Research group members

  • Professor Gillian Lewis (Group Leader)
  • Yimin Dong (Research and Teaching Technician)
  • Jo Smith (PhD Student: A Novel Mn depositing stream bacteria)
  • Joanne Hewitt ( PhD Student : Human Adenovirus: a surrogate for the presence of enteric viruses in food and water based at ESR Porirua)
  • Anne-Marie Perchec (PhD Student/Graduate research fellow : Is there an environmental clade of Escherichia coli?)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)


Contact details

Primary office location

COMMERCE A - Bldg 114
Level 1, Room 120
New Zealand

Web links