Professor Gillian Dianne Lewis

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)

  • Zha, H., Jones, B., Lewis, G., Dong, Y., & Jeffs, A. (2018). Pathology of tail fan necrosis in the spiny lobster, Jasus edwardsii. Journal of invertebrate pathology, 154, 5-11. 10.1016/j.jip.2018.03.010
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Jeffs
  • Zha, H., Jeffs, A., Dong, Y., & Lewis, G. (2018). Potential virulence factors of bacteria associated with tail fan necrosis in the spiny lobster, Jasus edwardsii. Journal of fish diseases, 41 (5), 817-828. 10.1111/jfd.12791
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Jeffs, Hua Zha
  • Zha, H., Lewis, G., Alfaro, A., Wang, S., Dong, Y., Grandiosa, R., & Jeffs, A. (2017). Immune status of the spiny lobster Jasus edwardsii with tail fan necrosis. Diseases of aquatic organisms, 126 (3), 229-238. 10.3354/dao03176
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Jeffs, Hua Zha
  • Lear, G., Lau, K., Perchec, A.-M., Buckley, H. L., Case, B. S., Neale, M., ... Lewis, G. (2017). Following Rapoport's Rule: The geographic range and genome size of bacterial taxa decline at warmer latitudes. Environmental Microbiology, 19 (8), 3152-3162. 10.1111/1462-2920.13797
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gavin Lear, Kim Handley
  • Wagenhoff, A., Clapcott, J. E., Lau, K. E., Lewis, G. D., & Young, R. G. (2017). Identifying congruence in stream assemblage thresholds in response to nutrient and sediment gradients for limit setting. Ecological Applications, 27 (2), 469-484. 10.1002/eap.1457
  • Wu, J., Anderson, B., Buckley, H., Lewis, G., & Lear, G. (2017). Aspect has a greater impact on alpine soil bacterial community structure than elevation. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 93 (3).10.1093/femsec/fiw253
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gavin Lear
  • Kia, E., Wagner Mackenzie, B., Middleton, D., Lau, A., Waite, D. W., Lewis, G., ... Poppitt, S. D. (2016). Integrity of the human faecal microbiota following long-term sample storage. PLOS ONE, 11 (10)10.1371/journal.pone.0163666
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Garth Cooper, Mike Taylor, Sally Poppitt, Marta Paulino Silvestre, Brett Wagner, David Waite
  • Perchec, A. M., Lear, G. K., Neale, M., & Lewis, G. D. (2016). Freshwater microbial communities. In P. G. Jellyman, T. J. A. Davie, C. P. Pearson, J. S. Harding (Eds.) Advances in New Zealand Freshwater Science (pp. 167-180). Wellington, New Zealand: Hydrological and Freshwater Science Societies. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gavin Lear


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 348A
New Zealand

Web links