Our research interests are in enhancing our understanding of microbial-mediated processes in natural and engineered systems, and in application and development of biotechnology to address various environmental challenges in water, soils, and energy. The Chu lab applies molecular biology, isotopic techniques, chemical analysis, and phage biology to study environmental and biological systems, with focuses on (i) microbial ecology, fate and transport, biodegradation of environmental pollutants such as emerging contaminants and persistent organic pollutants, (ii) production of biofuels and bioproducts from renewable resources, and (iii) detection, tracking, and quantification of microorganisms that play roles in water quality, bioremediation, carbon sequestration and nitrogen cycle in the environment. Other research areas include development and application of novel sorbents and catalysts (bio and non-bio) for removing and/or monitoring emerging environmental pollutants.

selected publications
Academic Articles151
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  • Asiri, F., Chen, C., Hwangbo, M., Shao, Y., & Chu, K. (2020). From Organic Wastes to Bioplastics: Feasibility of Nonsterile Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) Production by Zobellella denitrificans ZD1.. ACS Omega. 5(38), 24158-24168.
  • Hwangbo, M., & Chu, K. (2020). Recent advances in production and extraction of bacterial lipids for biofuel production.. Sci Total Environ. 734, 139420-139420.
Conference Papers24
  • Asiri, F., Chen, C., Hwangbo, M., Shao, Y., & Chu, K. (2019). Sustainable production of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) by Zobellella denitrificans ZD1 grown with non-sterile salty waste streams. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY. 258,
  • Liu, Y., Pavia, A., Walsh, G., Kuo, L., Chu, K., Yang, S., ... Knap, A. (2019). Distribution of Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) in Galveston Bay, TX. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY. 257,
  • Chen, C., Yang, S., Martinez, K., Liu, Y., Wade, T., & Chu, K. (2018). Accumulation and toxicity of perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluoroalkyl alternatives on earthworms (Eisenia fetida) and terrestrial plants. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY. 256,
  • Chen, C., Lei, S., & Chu, K. (2018). Biodegradation potential of 1,4-dioxane in high salinity environment. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY. 256,
  • Deeb, R. A., Nishino, S., Spain, J., Hu, H. Y., Scow, K., & Alvarez-Cohen, L. (2000). MTBE and benzene biodegradation by a bacterial isolate via two independent monooxygenase-initiated pathways. National Meeting- American Chemical Society Division of Environmental Chemistry. 40(1), 280-282.
chaired theses and dissertations
First Name
Kung-Hui (Bella)
Last Name
mailing address
3136 TAMU; Civil and Environmental Engineering; 3136 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-3136